Slaty Flowerpiercer, Diglossa plumbea, flowerpiercer, tanager, bird, costa rica

Slaty Flowerpiercer (Diglossa plumbea)

I took this photo of a Slaty Flowerpiercer (Diglossa plumbea) whilst visiting the Savegre lodge in the central highlands of Costa Rica. Flowerpiercers have evolved a strange-looking bill which enables them to quickly feed on flower nectar. The flowerpiercer pierces the flower (!) corolla using it’s upward-pointing lower mandible, whilst at the same time firmly gripping the flower with it’s hooked upper mandible. This feeding technique is probably frowned upon as cheating by hummingbirds who have gone to all the trouble of evolving such long pointed beaks and tongues!

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