Rufous Tailed Jacamars in Tobago

Rufous-tailed jacamars are fairly common in Tobago.

They perch on a branch waiting for insects, then flit off, catch their prey and return to the branch.

family of jacamars perched in branches
rufous-tailed jacamar from behind

One of the really great thing about these birds is that they're very approachable.   These ones were at the Hillsborough Dam.

rufous tailed jacamar looking towards me
rufous tailed jacamar looking away from me
very colorful rufous tailed jacamar at night

I first came across these birds at the top viewing point of the Tobago Forest Reserve.

It was getting pretty late and the light was fading fast when I saw a bird on the edge of the forest.

I couldn't believe my luck when another arrived and they allowed me to get close enough for photographs.

Although they would take off every minute or so after insects, as this one is doing here, each time they returned to the same branch or one near it.

jacamar at night taking off from a branch
rufous tailed jacamar displaying vivid colors

It's beyond me why the bird's colors look so different at night and during the day.

Perhaps it's the difference between natural light and flash.

This bird's so spectacular it's almost divine - you practically expect to see one around the next corner looking angelically upwards as it's flooded in some strange heavenly light.

rufous tailed jacamar flooded in heavenly light

Don't blame me, this is just how the photo turned out!