Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Last Bird

Photo by Jerry Oldenettel

It looked as if we'd never find this little fellow with the ordinary name, Buffy Hummingbird. We'd spent most of one afternoon trolling through dry thorn scrub along the northern coast of Venezuela without success. Unfortunately, much of the habitat had been cleared and was devoid of nearly all vegetation for some mysterious purpose. It began to look like the little hummie, endemic to only this small region was not to be. For some of our group, this was one of the must-see birds for their purpose in being here was to see hummingbirds instead of raptors or Harpy Eagles. We walked down a trash-filled alleyway, dodging the smelly puddles and dirty diapers until we came to a clear stream that emptied into a lagoon. Everything looked just about perfect, but no hummie responded. Then, Jerry pulled out his Ipod, on which was loaded -- none other than the mating call of the Buffy Hummingbird. It took exactly less than one minute before the little fellow zoomed right over and perched right in front of us. Happy birders all. Then, it was off to Caracas and home.

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