The Beck’s Petrel is not the only new bird species discovered this year. We have to add another species absent from out life lists, the Gorgeted Puffleg — a name which sounds more like a variety of mushroom than a hummingbird. Here is a photo, taken by — and copyrighted by — Alex Cortes, one of the discoverers. We must comment on Sr. Cortes’s photograph which you see here.
Not only did he trek into the back country mountains of Columbia, he did so at considerable personal risk, because the Gorgeted Puffleg lives in dangerous country. Columbian rebels and drug runners operate in the same region. In fact, this Puffleg species is in great danger of extinction because of the slashing and burning done there in order to grow coca. Mr. Cortes made a remarkable photograph and he, at least, has the Gorgeted Puffleg on his life list.