Photo by Sarah Hadley
Species of the day –– Slaty Flowerpiercer, (Diglossa plumbea)
Hummingbirds are not the only species of birds that feed from flowers. Many other species eat insects from flowers and several are quite specialized for drinking nectar from flowers. The flowerpiercer is one of these. They have an upturned bill with a hooked upper mandible and pointed lower mandible. They hook their upper mandible over the base of the flower’s corolla and then pierce it with the lower mandible. Through this hole they can drink the nectar. Obviously they can’t hover like a hummingbird though and need to do all of this while perched.