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.

Written by Redgannet
Redgannet worked for more than 35 years as a flight attendant for an international airline. He came to birding late in his career but, considering the distractions, doesn't regret the missed opportunities. He was paid to visit six continents and took full advantage of the chance to bird the world. He adopted the nom de blog, Redgannet, to avoid remonstrations from his overbearing employer, but secretly hoped that the air of mystery would make him more attractive to women. Now grounded, he is looking forward to seeing the seasons turn from a fixed point.