Photo: Mariam Kamal/Audubon Photography Awards
Species: White-necked Jacobin
Location: Dave & Dave’s Nature Park, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
Camera: Nikon D3300 with Tamron SP AF 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD lens; 1/250 second at f/6.3; ISO 200
Story Behind the Shot:
On my fifth trip to Costa Rica, my favorite birding spots produced a few measly sightings.
So I drove six hours to a reforestation site, which turned out to be well worth the trip.
For an hour I photographed a valiant troop of White-necked Jacobins consuming nectar from heliconias that swayed and bobbed in a forceful wind.
I could barely breathe as I snapped—I felt that I, too, was fighting to hang on!
Of the 350-plus species of hummingbirds, most have small geographic ranges.
Bucking the trend is the White-necked Jacobin, common from southern Mexico to southern Brazil.
It succeeds by being adaptable, occupying a wide variety of tropical forest and edge habitats.
An Andean motmot at San Miguel Hill, near Medellin, Colombia.
Colombia was announced the champion of the Global Big Day bird watch, with 1,486 species of birds spotted.
In this annual event, teams of bird watchers from more than 140 countries worldwide record their bird sightings.
Image Credit: Photograph by Joaquin Sarmiento/AFP/Getty Images
Photo Credit: JF (Flickr).
About 60 km northeast of the city of Chachapoyas, in Luya Province, in Peru, lies the archaeological site of Karajia, where the funeral tombs of the “ancient wise men” are located.
Perched high on a ledge by the side of a limestone cliff, the six sarcophagi (coffins carved in stone and displayed above ground) resembling six limbless torsos with large heads and enormous jaw lines, stand proud with their chin up and facing the abyss.
Some of the headpieces are embellished with horns, imitating deer antlers, while others have encrusted human skulls, which are presumed to be trophy heads. Each sarcophagus is 2.5 meters tall.
The sarcophagi were built by the Chachapoya people to house the remains of important individuals in their culture, about 600 years ago.
Originally, there were eight sarcophagi but two were destroyed by earthquakes and other natural elements.
Their inaccessible location high above a river gorge has thankfully preserved them from destruction by looters.
Tepuis are flat table-top mountains found in the Guayana Highlands of South America, especially in Venezuela. In the language of the Pemon people who live in the Gran Sabana, Tepui means ‘House of the Gods’ due to their height.
Tepuis tend to be found as isolated entities rather than in connected ranges, which makes them host to hundreds of endemic plant and animal species, some of which are found only on one tepui.
Towering over the surrounding forest, the tepuis have almost sheer vertical flanks, and many rise as much as 1,000 meters above the surrounding jungle. The tallest of them are over 3,000 meters tall.
The nearly vertical escarpments and dense rainforest bed on which these tepuis or mesa lie make them inaccessible by foot. Only three of the Gran Sabana’s mountains can be reached by foot, among which the 2,180m-high Roraima is the most accessible.
Tepuis are the remains of a large sandstone plateau that once covered the granite basement complex between the north border of the Amazon Basin and the Orinoco, between the Atlantic coast and the Rio Negro, during the Precambrian period. Over millions of years, the plateaus were eroded and all that were left were isolated flat-headed tepuis.
Although the tepuis looks quite barren, the summit is teeming with life.
The high altitude of tepuis causes them to have a different climate from the ground forest. The top is often cooler with frequent rainfall, while the bases of the mountains have a tropical, warm and humid climate.
Many extraordinary plants have adapted to the environment to form species unique to the tepui.
Some 9,400 species of higher plants have been recorded from the Venezuelan Guayana, of which 2322 are registered from the tepuis. Approximately one-third of the species occur nowhere else in the world.
Read more via Tabletop Mountains or Tepuis of Venezuela | Amusing Planet.
From deep inside caves to the bottom of the ocean, wildlife photographer Danté Fenolio seeks out the creatures that don’t want to be found.