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Photograph by Andrew Bullen, PhD, CMS Faculty
This is a Chestnut-Breasted Coronet Hummingbird (Boissonneaua matthewsii) photographed in the wild. This image was taken in a temperate Andean cloud forest (Papallacta, Ecuador) in the upper reaches of the Amazon basin. These hummingbirds are quite small, about the size of a thumb, and very fast-moving, which makes photographing them technically challenging. Their wings beat 60-70 times per second when hovering to feed at a flower like this. A multi-flash system linked to a digital camera was used to capture this image. The very brief flashes act to freeze wing motion and accentuate the iridescent colorings of these birds.