Buff-tailed sicklebill

Buff-tailed sicklebill
Eutoxeres condamini

(Photo from Agami Photography)

Common name:
buff-tailed sicklebill (en); bico-de-foice-de-cauda-acanelada (pt); bec-en-faucille de La Condamine (fr); picohoz colicanela (es); rotschwanz-sichelschnabel (de)

Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

This species is found in the eastern slopes of the Andes, and adjacent lowland areas, from southern Colombia to northern Bolivia.

These birds are 12-15 cm long and weigh 8-12,5 g.

The buff-tailed sicklebill is mostly found in the understorey of moist tropical forests, especially in mountainous areas, but also in the lowlands. They also use plantations, bamboo stands and arable land. They are present at altitudes of 200-3.300 m.

They feed mainly on nectar, their bill being adapted to the shape of certain flowers, particularly Centropogon and Heliconia. They also catch small arthropods.

Buff-tailed sicklebills breed in September-February. The nest is an elongated cup, made of mosses, rhizomes and other fine plant materials, and lined with palm-leaf pinnules and other course materials. It is suspended from a palm leaf, 1-2 m above the ground, and often placed near or above a stream. The female lays 2 eggs, which she incubates alone for 16-18 days. The chicks fledge 22-24 days after hatching and reach sexual maturity at 1-2 years of age.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as uncommon. It is suspected to lose 16.% of suitable habitat within its distribution over the next decade, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation, therefore it is suspected to suffer a small decline in the near future.

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