Thursday, January 29, 2015

Subtlety and beauty

On a recent visit to the high Andes of Ecuador, I was absolutely delighted to find a truly extraordinary shorebird of the high elevation bogs and alpine tundra, The Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe (Attagis gayi). The seedsnipe are a small family (Thinocoridae) of only four species of rather stocky shorebirds, found only in South America, whose diet is largely vegetarian (seeds and plant material) unlike the majority of shorebirds.

These birds are exquisitely plumaged such that their camouflage is exceptional but when seen well the feather detail is also truly breathtaking. I will try to let the photos speak for themselves. The first photo shows two Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe in their habitat. Can you spot them? If not, take a look at the second photo for help...

If you spotted those birds, congratulations! Now here are two photos with a telephoto lens to show off their exceptional beauty up close and personal. 

I hope you enjoy looking at these photos as much as I enjoyed finding these magnificent birds!


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