Beautiful Birds

Location: Puntarenas, Costa Rica

It was another busy day in Costa Rica. I had spent the previous four hours on an exceptionally slow bus ride from Upala to Puntarenas, which left me very drowsy. I was glad to finally arrive at our destination to stretch my legs and exercise my cramps. It was going to be a wonderful day!

Our plan was to hike through one of the many trails in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, but on our way up to the entrance we came across an incredible sight: a path strung with bright red bird feeders that entertained dozens of beautiful birds.

I stood there for an hour, watching the spectrum of dazzling hummingbirds flutter wildly about. I listened to the whirring of their wings and their whistling warbles.

It took an utmost amount of patience to capture closeup pictures of these beautiful birds. Every time my Iphone8 positioned itself in the perfect spot, the bird seemed to notice and flutter off. It was extremely frustrating, and my first few photos ended up being unfocused blurs.

I looked at these pictures and frowned. They didn’t capture the true beauty of the scene I was in. I wanted to be able to look into my photo collection and see the birds as if they were actually there. And so I would have to do better. I would have to be sneakier; I would have to be quieter and more mindful of my movements.

And so I was.

My next few pictures were better, though they still weren’t what I wanted.

A sudden rustle in the grass brought me spinning around to see what had caused it.

White-nosed Coati

It was just another pair of coatimundis. Nothing special. I took one picture and returned to my difficult task.

Dozens of birds escaped my Iphone8, and those that didn’t showed up as smudged pixels in my photo library. But I did not give up. I became sneakier. I became quieter. And my patience held strong.

And finally, my hard word work paid off.

Purple-throated Mountain-gem

When I researched the name of this hummingbird, I was surprised to find that it was called a purple-throated mountain-gem, when this one’s throat was clearly not purple. But then I learned that the females actually had brown throats, whereas the males were the ones with the pretty colours.

Lesser Violetear

Then I saw the most beautiful bird I had ever seen, and I knew I had to get the perfect picture of it. I was the sneakiest I had ever been. I held my breath and crept closer and closer, until my Iphone8 was only a foot away.

Stripe-tailed Hummingbird

But it blinked right as I snapped the picture!

Silly bird, I wanted to shout. But I had to focus.

I leaned closer until my Iphone8 was only a few inches away.

Stripe-Tailed Hummingbird

It was not only my best picture of the day, but my best picture ever! It looked so real and alive; it was just the kind of photograph I wanted. It was perfect!

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3 thoughts on “Beautiful Birds

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