Get off... I saw it first! Pair of hummingbirds battle it out over a banana flower


Sticky beak: The green buff-tailed coronet spots its rival approaching, left, and hovers with its beak facing up in the air to try and keep the purple hummingbird away, right

These spectacular images show a hummingbird literally bending over backwards to try and fend off a colourful rival that is eyeing the exotic flower it is feeding from.
The two hummingbirds were photographed getting into a flap over the desirable banana flower, which only had perching room for one.
The series of images show the green buff-tailed hummingbird hovering upside down to try and ward off the approaching competitor - a velvet-purple coronet. But despite its best efforts to protect its prize, the buff-tailed hummingbird eventually admits defeat and flits away, leaving the victorious velvet-purple to take its place on the petals of the flower.

Back off: The green buff-tailed hummingbird hovers upside down in a valiant attempt to deter its persistent rival

The contest between the vibrantly coloured hummingbirds was captured by photographer Nate Chappell in Mindo, Ecuador - a paradise for tropical birdwatchers.
'The species here are the velvet-purple coronet and the buff-tailed hummingbird, two of the 150 or so species of hummingbirds that occur in Ecuador,' Mr Chappell said.
'When it [the buff-tailed] notices [the approaching velvet-purple] it turns towards him, and then rotates upside-down to defend the flower.'

All in a flap: The vibrantly coloured birds battle it out over the banana flower

Victory: The buff-tailed coronet eventually admits defeat and prepares to flit away as its purple rival replaces it on the banana flower

But the green bird's defensive manouevres were not sufficient to see off its rival.
'The buff-tailed has moved back to the top of the flower and in the final image he is about to fly away as the velvet-purple has landed on the flower,' said the photographer, who set up the scene to entice hummingbirds to be captured on camera.
'In this instance I placed a banana flower on a clamp and inserted sugar water, the kind used in hummingbird feeders, into it,' he explained.

source: dailymail