Violetears and Hummingbirds

Green Violetear Hummingbird, Costa Rica

Green Violetear, Costa Rica

Although most of us are familiar with at least one hummingbird, the Violetear doesn’t usually ring a bell.  Named for their violet ear patches, this hummingbird can be found in Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.


Strictly a New World bird, hummingbirds only exist in “The Americas”:  North, Central, and South America.  With 338 known species, that makes this a very large and concentrated family of birds.  It makes sense that they could not all have the word “hummingbird” in their name.  After birding long enough in Central and South America, a birder becomes familiar with the other names like:  Brilliant, Sabrewing, Sapphire, Coquette, Emerald.  Here’s a full list of the world’s hummingbirds.  When you glance over this long list of names, they all imply beauty.


The violetears are medium-sized hummingbirds at approximately 4 inches (10 cm) long, and have the greatest flying speed ever recorded for a hummingbird at 90 mph (140 km/h).  Although you have to be quick to get your lenses on any hummingbird, the glittery little gems are always a joy to behold.


Photo credit:  Athena Alexander


49 thoughts on “Violetears and Hummingbirds

    • Native American culture associates the hummingbird with joy. And so many people I know, including myself, really love them. Thanks so much Trini. 😀 😀

  1. Jet I love your description of them being glittery gems. Wonderful capture. I’m afraid my camera would still be waving wildly at the sky. I might get some nice cloud shots. 🙂

    • Interesting, isn’t it? There are other similar types of birds–like sunbirds and honeyeaters–that feed on nectar in other parts of the world, but they are definitely not hummingbirds. Thanks Jan! 🙂

  2. Obviously you were quick enough with your lens. What a lovely version of this charming little bird. Someone once tried to tell me of a hummingbird (I forget where, but outside of the Americas), but it turned out to be a sunbird. Hard to tell the difference between the two except for the name.

    • Yes, sunbirds are colorful and quick too, but they’re really not indistinguishable from a hummingbird. I am pretty sure, with your wildlife and outdoor experience, you wouldn’t mistake the two. BTW I really love sunbirds too. Thanks, as always Gunta, for your visits and comments — always appreciated. 😀

  3. These are the little Nymphs of the Avian world. Hummingbirds are special creatures that have a certain sense of fantastic origin! Just let them hover around you and look at you in the eye! Magic! Thanks Jet! 🙂

    • I have a red hooded sweatshirt and when I wear it at home the Anna’s h-birds ZOOM within inches of me! And you’re right, HJ, they have that magic, playful and spirited, that is infectious. I always appreciate your visits and comments my friend. 😀

    • When I travel to a place that doesn’t have h-birds, I find myself missing them; so I understand you would miss them, Morgan. I’m glad today’s post could give you a vicarious reprieve. Thanks so much my friend! 😀

    • You have the ruby-throated where you live, and oh, what a beauty they are. Thanks so much, dear Nan, for your visit and for your many, many visits and comments. 😀

    • I genuinely hope you do Sriram. I am certain you would come away with excellent photos and accompanying wisdom. Many thanks for your visit and comment my friend. 😀

    • Isn’t it crazy when they get so close?! They’re formidable, loveable and magical all at once — and so intense! So very glad you enjoyed the post, dear Sal, and I appreciate your visit so much. 😀

    • When I googled the Abaco Bahama Woodstar your site came up, RH — that’s fun. And whoa, what a beauty that little gem is. It’s a delightful family to follow. Thanks for stopping by RH ~~ 😀

    • And I just finished looking at your cassowary post, which was awesome. Thanks for your link, your visit and your comments, David — it is fun to exchange our mutual thrills. 😀

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