Hummingbirds at the Treehouse
St Lucia is home to many species of birds but not many of them are as fascinating as Hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are fast, almost silent and beautifully decorated. They have evolved into specialist feeders and are perfectly equipped to feed on the energy-rich nectar conveniently dispensed from the tropical flowering plants that are found all over St Lucia. They have curved, elongated beaks and long tongues, enabling them to reach into the tasty bits of even the longest flowers. Their mesmeric ability to hover silently then jet off into the sunset has captured the imagination of people for millenia. I am on that list of people.
If you want to live with Hummingbirds, then one thing that you most definitely need is a good selection of flowering plants. The garden at The Treehouse is a Fly-in Larder with dozens of tropical flowering plants. Here are 2 beautiful flowering plants that Hummingbirds feed on.
St Lucia Hummingbird Species
There are 3 species of Hummingbird on the island; The Antillean Crested Hummingbird, The Purple Throated Carib and The Green Throated Carib. They all thrive on the island where they have a wide range of flowering plants and insects to eat. Hummingbirds are particularly common at the Treehouse, mostly because the owners have gone to a lot of trouble to make their vast garden wildlife-friendly. There are more plants than you could name, from berry-laden trees that feed a wide range of birds, to the tropical flowering plants that Hummingbirds seek out.
Antillean Crested Hummingbird
The Antillean Crested Hummingbird is the prettiest of the trio. This regular visitor to the garden has a striking iridescent green crest. It is pretty obvious how they get their name!
Purple Throated Carib
The Purple Throated Carib is the second of the trio that I managed to get a decent photo of. The reddish-purple throats clearly identify this Hummingbird and in one of the photos, you get a really nice view of it. These images were taken at the Diamond Waterfall Botanical Gardens.
Green Throated Carib
Despite plenty of effort I found the Green Throated Carib was a little too fast for my amateurish photography skills so here is a photo that Pablo took and has allowed me to use for this post. I will be back to get a decent image of it for myself!
Capturing all 3 species of Hummingbird on camera became a little mission for me. Like I say, they are fast and silent so are not an easy subject. I staked out a flowering bush near our sundeck for a few hours and got a few decent photos of the Antillean Crested Hummingbird, and manages a few nice images of a Purple Throated Carib at the Botanical Gardens. Both these photos are helped enormously by the fact that the Hummingbrids in them were sitting down rather than flying! I think I’ve got a couple of good ones of the Antillean Crested Hummingbird in flight though. Let me know what you think.
Thanks again to Pablo for the great photo of the Green Throated Carib 🙂
I didn’t have any particular interest in birds before I visited St Lucia but within a week I had become hooked on taking photos of anything with wings! The Hummingbirds were fascinating and fun to try to photograph and have really sparked the Bird Watcher in me into life. Fortunately there are many other types of bird that are much easier to take photos of, so check back soon for more bird posts as well as some plant articles from my time in the St Lucian rainforest 🙂