No, you’re not going crazy. This is the second post on 10,000 Birds about hummingbirds at Catarata del Toro in less than a month. Such are the risks you take reading a blog written by birders who sometimes go birding together. Patrick’s post was excellent and informative and we certainly can’t let that stand! People like you might start thinking that 10,000 Birds is a reputable blog or something. Fortunately, you have me to come along and muck everything up again…

So, Catarata del Toro. It’s beautiful and there’s a big waterfall. (One Spanish word I have down for life after my visit to Costa Rica is catarata. That and lluvia.) We didn’t see the waterfall because there was so much lluvia and we really couldn’t tell that it was beautiful but had to take Patrick at his word. Mostly, we hung out and watched the hummingbirds though we did walk out into the rain and got rained on while we saw some non-hummingbirds. Fortunately, like most birders, we like hummingbirds, and having eight species buzzing around was very very nice. The rain made everything dark so to get decent pictures I had to wait for the birds to sit but I still had fun. How can you not have fun when there are scads of hummingbirds?

female Green-crowned Brilliant

This is a female Green-crowned Brilliant. You can tell because she is not as brilliant as the male and if she were actually a juvenile male she wouldn’t just be sticking her tongue out, she would also have orange stripes on her face. The bird in the picture at the top of this post is also a female Green-crowned Brilliant. I like this shot, taken without flash, much more.

Green-crowned Brilliant

Here is a male Green-crowned Brilliant. I think Blue-spotted Brilliant would work better but what do I know? I’m just glad that human males aren’t expected to outshine human females.

Violet Sabrewing

Violet Sabrewings are amazing. They are purple, they are huge, and at Catarata del Toro, at least, they are common. What more can you want?


This is not a hummingbird. If you knew that before you read this caption you are well on your way to becoming an expert at field identification. This is a Bananaquit. No one really knows what they actually are but they seem content just being Bananaquits. They like feeders. Also, it is fun to type or say Bananaquit. Bananaquit. Bananaquit.

Black-bellied Hummingbird

Black-bellied Hummingbirds can only be found in Costa Rica and western Panama. Which makes me very glad to have seen this species. Because, honestly, when am I going to get back to Costa Rica again or go to Panama?

Coppery-headed Emerald

And, finally, just to put this post out of its misery, here is a Coppery-headed Emerald. These dudes are total jerks. If you were another species of hummingbird you would hate these guys. Fortunately, you are not a hummingbird so instead you can admire them for their pluckiness.

Not pictured? Green Hermit. White-bellied Mountain-Gem. Purple-throated Mountain-Gem. Rufous-tailed Hummingbird. See if you can find them in the video below.

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.