Tyrian Metaltail, Metallura tyrianthina


Tyrian Metaltail
A hummingbird of the high Andes, photographed here in the outskirts of Quito.  The Metaltails
(genus Metallura) get their name from the iridescent tail feathers, which in this species have a
distinctive coppery or rufous color.


Tyrian Metaltail



Tyrian Metaltail
The female, above, has a buff throat and breast, without the bright green throat patch shown by the male. The picture above was taken without flash, contrasting with the studio-like setup of four simultaneous flashes firing for an extremely short period, 1/20,000 of a second or less, freezing the fast-moving wings of the hummingbird, in the two pictures of the male at the top of the page.