On the doorstep of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, a quaint shop perched on a hill and nestled behind a batch of towering trees is difficult to see.
The shop is the Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery, home to nine different species of hummingbirds that drink from the 14 sugar-water feeders hanging about the cobblestone entryway.
As the various colorful hummingbirdsflash from feeder to feeder like blinking lights, the peculiar mannerisms of the buzzing birds mesmerize spectators as they watch the seemingly always famished, helicopter-like aves jostle to dip their needle-nose spouts into the feeders to feast on the sweet water.
The Hummingbird Gallery, in its 15th year, continues to be a popular tourist attraction for visitors who stop by to marvel at the tiny birds that flutter, swoop, dive-bomb, stop in mid-flight and back up amongst the 14 feeders. It’s a curious, fascinating show, and many visitors catch the birds’ antics on their digital cameras. The gallery, on the front porch of the shop, is free to the public.
According to Martín Trejos, owner of the Hummingbird Gallery, the little birds hang around the porch almost all day every day, rarely breaking from sipping at the sugar water feeders, which are replenished daily.
Inside the shop, a wide range of souvenirs are for sale, but the highlight is the photo gallery of United Kingdom photographers Michael and Patricia Fogden, who have spent a great deal of time behind their cameras as they traveled around Central America. The photo gallery – which includes incredible shots of hummingbirds, snakes and even a jaguar lurking in a Central American forest – occupies one end of the shop.
The Hummingbird Gallery (2645-5030) is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and, even when closed, the emerald, violet, magenta, yellow, green and orange hummingbirds buzz amongst the feeders, calling attention to themselves, at almost all hours of the day.