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#64 Blue-bearded Helmcrest

Critically Endangered

Continuing with the blue mini-series

I don't think this really makes them look like a hummingbird. They are one of the rarest of them though, and not often seen even by birders. To get to their area in high elevations of Columbia, you have to do a trek that takes several days and is in steep terrain. The pictures and videos of them eating rarely show them trying to hover like a typical hummer. They seem to prefer landing on a leaf or grabbing a flower's stem. They can hover, but at least when someone is around to capture the behaviour, they don't seem to do it much. Until March 2015 they were only known because of 62 that were in museums. Of those, the most recent had been killed in 1946. Their habitat is threatened due to about 50,000 indigenous people who live in the area. They set fires to create grazing space for pigs and cattle. That destroys the hummingbird's food source. The people who spotted these back in 2015 were in the area documenting fires actually.

I thought they looked so smug, and tried to capture that aspect. They have a wild "hairstyle" and a cool beard. It is as if they saw the other hummingbirds and thought that "yeah, being colourful is nice, but I can be even more exciting than that". I don't know why, but I find animals that are a bit "weird" and do things differently more endearing than others of the same kind. Sort of as if they are underdogs and need a cheerleader.

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