There is a Trivial Pursuit question which asks the colour of a Bougainvillea flower. The answer caught me out first time round as I had mistaken the colourful brachts for petals. The flower is actually the tiny white bloom surrounded by the varied hues of the brachts. In Central and South America, they are part of the established ecosystem and play an important role, supporting the fauna of the region. A small patch at the bottom of the hill in Parque Nacional de Tlapan in Mexico City was very busy during a recent visit and drained the magenta from my printer.

MEX 16Jul13 Cinnamon-breasted Flower-piercer  02

A Cinnamon-breasted Flower-piercer with a Freddie Mercury overbite was first. Flower-piercers are restricted to the New World and feed from on nectar with a brush-like tongue which they insert into the flower stem through the hole that they make with the bill.

MEX 16Jul13 Berylline Hummingbird 01

They can sometimes be bullied off their feeding area by aggressive territorial hummingbirds. The Berylline Hummingbird below may look as if it has been caught in flight, but in truth I had time to frame and focus just before it reversed out of the flower (the white bit).

MEX 16Jul13 Bushtit 01

The Bushtits are usually very active as they pass through an area leading the party, but this one stopped just for a moment and looked back to see where the rest of his group were and what the odd pishing noises might be.

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Written by Redgannet
Redgannet has been working for over 33 years as a crew member/flight attendant and enjoys the well-ventilated air of the outdoors. The nom de blog, Redgannet, was adopted to add an air of mystery and to make himself more attractive to women. His father first whetted Redguga's appetite for all things natural by buying him his first pair of 7x35s and a copy of Thorburn's Birds. Having no mentor beyond an indulgent parent, he spent the first season hoping for an Egyptian Vulture at the bird table in his English garden. His most memorable birding moment is seeing an Egyptian Vulture with those same binoculars 26 years later. Redgannet is married to Canon, but his heart and half of his house belongs to Helen and their son Joseph. He is looking forward to communicating with people who don't ask if he is searching for the "feathered variety" of bird.