Purple throated carib. Photo credit Christian König: SHAPE/DCNATheir iridescent plumage shimmers in the sunlight to reveal a beautiful array and intensity of colors. You will most likely see these tiny birds fluttering around a variety of native flowers, eating nectar, although they also eat insects. Their common family name is derived from the distinct humming sound that their fast beating wings make (their wings can beat as fast as 80 beats per seconds).

The Purple-throated Carib (Eulampis jugularis), pictured first, and the Green-throated Carib (Eulampis holosericeus), in the next photograph, are two of the Dutch Caribbean’s hummingbird species. Both have a special conservation value, considered by Birdlife as restricted range species.

The Green-throated Carib is found within all of the Dutch Caribbean, while the Purple-throated Carib only occurs on the Windward Islands. Both hummingbirds Photo credit- Rostislav Stach: SHAPE/DCNA. shape_rs_002-5454are common in their range and are found in a variety of forest habitats, including thorny woodlands, rainforests and evergreen seasonal forest, as well as gardens. The protection of forest habitats is key to their long-term survival.

Thousands of different plants and animals call the Dutch Caribbean home and find haven in our protected areas. Some of those species we pay closer attention to as they are threatened with extinction, endemic to only one island or the region, or protected by international laws.