Our next target hummingbird was going to be a bit more difficult to find. The White-tufted Sunbeam is a Peru endemic that only lives in a couple of small areas at high elevations. It does not come to feeders. One of the areas where it is found is Abra Malaga, which is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 10,682 feet (3,256 m).
We needed to drive and hike to try to find the flowers this bird likes and hope for the best. Our plan was to spend most of the day looking on the western slope of Abra Malaga for this hummingbird and any others we could find.
Abra Malaga is gorgeous. Take a look at some of the scenery I took through the car window with my phone.
The first hummingbird we found was a little female Tyrian Metaltail. I was excited, as this was a new species for me. She sat on a twig and posed for me for several minutes. When I looked beyond where I was photographing her, I noticed a flock of sheep up on the mountain.
Suddenly William spotted a White-tufted Sunbeam! He was perched at the very top of a branch. He would fly off and always come back to that same branch.
I began to photograph him and we made our way through the brush to try to get closer and closer. He would fly off and come back. We got as close as we could, but as we did there always seemed to be a leaf or branch in the way. I feel lucky to have at least had a chance to photograph this endemic species.
After getting the photographs, we started on the long ride back to Cusco. Tomorrow morning we would be leaving for Manu.