January 01, 2017

Hummingbird Nestlings Fledge!

New Year's Day brought us something special on the cams: two young tropical Green-and-white Hummingbirds taking their first flights, about 29 days after hatching! This is the first nesting documentation of this species, and we were excited to share it with so many viewers. Special thanks to our collaborators at the ITA InkaTerra Asociación. We hope to offer more tropical bird viewing in the near future—stay tuned! 

January 01, 2017

Both Nestlings Fledge

Both nestlings fledged between 8 and 10AM on January 1, 2017, after 27-29 days in the nest. More...

December 20, 2016

Welcome Viewers!

Next to nothing is known or published about this species, and when guides at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel found the nest during incubation, the countdown started ticking. From egg laying to fledging only takes about 32-36 days, and the technical staff on site had to scramble to get a camera installed, powered up, and connected to the internet. The eggs have hatched and the female is now caring for two chicks. Despite bad weather and problems with the service provider, we were able to get everything working in time to see the first few days post-hatch on camera, and while technical glitches may still arise, we wanted to be sure you had the chance to experience these diminutive birds firsthand. The biggest challenge to seeing these birds fledge isn't even the technical aspect of the cam: it's the high chance of the nest being predated or failing prior to fledging. Across the tropics, the rate of nest failure in open cup nesting birds can be 80% or higher! This figure holds for many of the tropical hummingbird species that have been studied, and we can't know whether this particular nest will survive; however, most birds in the tropics cope with this reality by nesting multiple times within the breeding season, and laying fewer eggs per attempt — literally, not putting all of their eggs in one basket! Thanks for watching and learning with us. 

January 01, 2017

Hummingbird Nestlings Fledge!

New Year's Day brought us something special on the cams: two young tropical Green-and-white Hummingbirds taking their first flights, about 29 days after hatching! This is the first nesting documentation of this species, and we were excited to share it with so many viewers. Special thanks to our collaborators at the ITA InkaTerra Asociación. We hope to offer more tropical bird viewing in the near future—stay tuned! 

December 20, 2016

Green-and-white Hummingbird Nestling Tests Its Wings

Shortly after a feeding by the mother, one of the young nestlings begins to test its wings with some rapid flapping.  

December 19, 2016

Chicks Continue to Show Signs of Development

As the two-week old Green-and-white Hummingbird chicks grow bigger by the day, they continue show signs of development and gain more independence. Over the weekend, both chicks opened their eyes for the first time. They've also become old enough to survive the night together on their own, as last night marked the first time the female stayed off the nest. Based on what is known about tropical hummingbird nesting periods, the chicks' first flights should be 1-2 weeks away if the nest is successful.  

January 01

Both Nestlings Fledge

Both nestlings fledged between 8 and 10AM on January 1, 2017, after 27-29 days in the nest. More...

December 20

Welcome Viewers!

Next to nothing is known or published about this species, and when guides at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel found the nest during incubation, the countdown started ticking. From egg laying to fledging only takes about 32-36 days, and the technical staff on site had to scramble to get a camera installed, powered up, and connected to the internet. The eggs have hatched and the female is now caring for two chicks. Despite bad weather and problems with the service provider, we were able to get everything working in time to see the first few days post-hatch on camera, and while technical glitches may still arise, we wanted to be sure you had the chance to experience these diminutive birds firsthand. The biggest challenge to seeing these birds fledge isn't even the technical aspect of the cam: it's the high chance of the nest being predated or failing prior to fledging. Across the tropics, the rate of nest failure in open cup nesting birds can be 80% or higher! This figure holds for many of the tropical hummingbird species that have been studied, and we can't know whether this particular nest will survive; however, most birds in the tropics cope with this reality by nesting multiple times within the breeding season, and laying fewer eggs per attempt — literally, not putting all of their eggs in one basket! Thanks for watching and learning with us. 

Very little has been published about this small species of hummingbird endemic to the eastern Andean slopes of central Peru (see range map).
 
Green-and-white Hummingbirds are locally common through their range and inhabit the canopy of humid forests, forest borders, clearings, and second growth. Its breeding biology is thought to be similar to other Amazilia hummingbirds, with an incubation period of 15-16 days followed by fledging at 18-22 days. Only the female adult cares for the nestlings, and she feeds them a steady diet of insects and nectar gathered from nearby the nestsite.

About the Site

The Green-and-white Hummingbird cam is situated on the expansive grounds of the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel in Aguas Calientes, Peru, near Machu Picchu. The hotel sits on 12 acres of protected cloud forest where 214 species of birds – including such rarities as the Golden-headed Quetzal and the Andean Cock-of-the-rock – have been seen. In addition to the avifauna, the hotel hosts the world’s largest native orchid collection (372 species) and the Andean Bear Rescue Center, where 5 endangered Andean Bears are being rehabilitated following bouts in captivity.

The hummingbird nest is about 2m above the ground in a small Erythrina tree near the Rescue Center, and from time to time you may see a bear walking by in the background. The “tick”-ing that you hear on the audio is the sound of the electric fence surrounding the Rescue Center.

About the Inkaterra Asociación

Inkaterra Asociación (ITA) is a non-profit institution that started research in 1978 to promote the conservation of Peru’s biodiversity and cultural resources. Committed to sustainable development, its core objectives are the encouragement of scientific research and the promotion of responsible business models to benefit local communities.

Determined to improve the quality of life for every living being, ITA has been able to protect over 15,000 hectares of Amazon rainforest in the low basin of Madre de Dios river (capturing 3,400,000 tons of carbon emissions), as well as ecosystems in Cuzco’s cloud forests. These activities are supported by partnerships with National Geographic Society, Global Environment Facility (United Nations), Conservation International, World Bank, International Game Fish Association, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and other influential organizations.

As intended by the founder of Inkaterra Hotels, José Koechlin von Stein, ITA’s research program is self-funded through its ecotourism activities, which have provided 21 new species for science among orchids, amphibians, insects and liana. An Andean (Spectacled) Bear conservation program in Machu Picchu; bird and orchid studies; and a marine reserve at Cabo Blanco (Northern Peru) stand out among ITA’s current projects.