Ecuador Amazon – Achilles Blue Morpho Butterfly

Ecuador Amazon - Achilles Blue Morpho Butterfly

Ecuador Amazon – Achilles Blue Morpho Butterfly

The dazzling blue wings of Morpho butterflies are enormous relative to their body size, resulting in a very distinctive slow, bouncy flight pattern. The effect is that the brilliant blue upper side appears to flash like a beacon as it alternates in flight with the dark undersurface. This makes it difficult for a bird to follow the flight. If attacked when on the wing, the slow lazy flight pattern instantly changes into a wild swooping evasive maneuver, following which the butterfly dives into the forest where it instantly settles. A pursuing bird is still of course searching for a brilliant blue insect, but the Morpho snaps it’s wings shut, displaying the dark brown underside and foiling the bird’s search program. If the bird does manage to spot the settled butterfly it invariably aims its attack at the most prominent feature – in this case the ocelli, missing the body entirely and allowing the butterfly to escape.

Ecuador Amazons – Toucans

Ecuador Amazon - Toucans

Ecuador Amazon – Toucans

Toucans are brightly marked and have large, often colorful bills. The family includes five genera  and about forty different species. The name of this bird group is derived from the Tupi word tukana, via Portuguese.

This photo was taken from far away with a 300 mm zoom lens.

Ecuador Amazon – Double-toothed Kite

Ecuador Amazon - Double-toothed Kite

Ecuador Amazon – Double-toothed Kite

The double-toothed kite, a bird of prey, generally hunts from a perch above the rainforest floor. The kite dives quickly downward to catch lizards and insects, the principle staples of its diet. The double toothed kite is an opportunistic hunter, often perching near groups of monkeys in order to capture prey flushed by the large mammals