These incredible pictures show just what lengths hummingbirds will go to to protect a good feeding perch.
Faced by an adversary with a beak five-times the length of its own, it was only superior will and skill that could win the day for this chestnut-breasted coronet.
And despite being outgunned by the sword-billed hummingbird it was able to duel its way to victory and savour a drink at the winners' table.
|A sword-billed hummingbird (left) and a chestnut-breasted coronet battle
over a hummingbird feeder near Papallacta, Ecuador|
|Fearless: Faced by an adversary with a beak five-times the length of its
own, it was only superior will and skill that could win the day for this
The frantic pair were part of a larger group of birds squabbling over a hummingbird feeder.
Photographer Nate Chappell, 44, watched the battle unfold and described it as 'David versus Goliath'.
He said: 'People are amazed at the size difference between the two birds, particularly the beaks.
'But the smaller bird held it's own and came back soon after to use the feeder. 'In this area there are hundreds of hummingbirds and few feeders. They need to feed a lot each day to survive so there is often competition.'
Despite the sheer disparity in beak length, the
smaller bird was able to duel to victory and get to drink at the winners table|
|The long-billed hummingbird failed to secure its place on the red feed
table, which was guarded by the territorial brown-breasted bird|
Mr Chappell, from Houston, Texas, captured the colourful close-ups at Guango Lodge, set in cloud forest at the foothills of the Andes Mountains, Ecuador
Mr Chappell captured the colourful close-ups at Guango Lodge, set in cloud forest at the foothills of the Andes Mountains, Ecuador.
Dozens of bird species live there, including the sword-billed hummingbird, which is the only species of bird with a beak longer than its body.
It uses this very long beak, and tongue, to feed on large, tubular flowers which hang down - such as corollas.
It's beak is so long that it can't groom itself like other birds and instead uses its flexible feet.
Mr Chappell, from Houston, Texas, and his wife, Angie, lead photography tours and workshops in the U.S., Ecuador and the rest of the world.
Credits: Mail Online