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Black-eared fairy

Heliothryx auritus

Photo by Lindolfo Souto (Internet Bird Collection)


Common name:
black-eared fairy (en); beija-flor-de-bochecha-azul (pt); colibri oreillard (fr); colibrí hada oriental (es); schwarzohr-schmuckkolibri (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

Range:
This species is found from Colombia, Venezuela and eastern Ecuador down to Bolivia and north-western Brazil, and also in south-eastern Brazil from Bahía to São Paulo.

Size:
These birds are 10-13 cm long and weigh around 6 g.

Habitat:
They are mostly found in tropical rainforests, and to a lesser extent also in second growths and degraded former forests, from sea level up to an altitude of 1.100 m.

Diet:
Black-eared fairies feed on nectar and insects.

Breeding:
These birds can breed all year round. The nest is a cup made of plant down, attached to the tip of a branch 3-10 m above the ground. There the female lays 2 white eggs, which she incubates alone for 15-16 days. The chicks fledge 23-26 days after hatching. They reach sexual maturity after 1 year.

Conservation:
IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
The black-eared fairy has a very large breeding range and is described as uncommon. Although there is no data on population trends, this species is expected to decline moderately in the future due to habitat loss, based on models of Amazonian deforestation.

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