Gamboa Rainforest Resort-Blue Contiga heaven, Jan 25th

6 03 2011

Headed over to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort this morning for another shot at the Blue Dacnis. I’ve been hoping for an opportunity to see and shoot the female Blue Cotinga, and getting down there early paid off!!

Here are three shots–of course one is the promised Blue Cotinga, the other is a male that was shot using flash, and one without flash for comparison. As you can see, when you use a flash on these birds you get a striking photo, but one that has the color completely wrong. This is true with many birds with blue plumage. I believe it’s caused by the fact that blue is not a pigment (like other colors). Instead, blue coloration is a result of light refraction, so when we ‘flash’ the birds, we get that refraction but since the light is coming from a single source (unlike natural light) we get this blue-green effect. As you can see, the female’s coloration is much more cryptic than the males, but she’s got a subtle beauty of her own..

Blue Cotinga-Female


Blue Cotinga-correct coloration (shot in natural light)

Blue Cotinga-shot with Flash

I also got a nice shot of another one of my favorite birds, the Cinnamon Becard.

Cinnamon Becard

This afternoon, I headed over for a hike up Plantation Road. About two miles in I inadvertantly scared a Green Hermit off the nest. I grabbed a few shots of the nest, which had two eggs on it, and backed off. The adult came back after about a half hour, but as soon as I moved it bolted again, so I left the area without a shot of the adult on the nest since I didn’t want to risk causing an abandonment.

Green Hermit Nest-Plantation Road



One response

16 05 2012
Mary Ann G

That hermit nest is one of my favorite shots (the cotingas aren’t too shabby either). I’d love to find one of those, attached under a leaf like that.

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