The Caribbean is named for the Carib Indians, and this native group also gave its name to two gorgeous Lesser Antilles specialties: the Carib hummingbirds. On the left is the Green-throated Carib, found in generally drier sites, while on the right is the forest-based Purple-throated Carib. The long and downcurved bills are specifically shaped to exploit nectar from flowers with long corollas, such as Heliconias. In fact, female and male Purple-throated Caribs show a noticeable difference in the curvature of their bills, each sex minimizing competition by specializing on slightly different flowers.
[photo © guide Jay VanderGaast]