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Tyrian Metaltail - Metallura tyrianthina smaragdinicollis | by Paul B Jones
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Tyrian Metaltail - Metallura tyrianthina smaragdinicollis

Metallura tyrianthina smaragdinicollis is the subspecies of the high altitude Tyrian Metaltail found in eastern Peru and northern Bolivia. I haven't done much hummingbird photography but you have to start somewhere. I like the fact the bill on this one is buried deep in the flower.


The name refers to tyrian purple, also known as royal purple or imperial purple. The colour is derived from a reddish-purple dye manufactured from the secretions of predatory sea snails in the Muricidae family. First used by the ancient Phoenicians, the dye was greatly prized because the colour bonded fast with fabric and became brighter over time. Until I looked at this photograph I wasn't sure where the purple was on this species.


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Taken on November 6, 2013