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Golden-bellied starfrontlet

Coeligena bonapartei

Photo by Alberto Schu (Digital Photography Review)

Common name:
golden-bellied starfrontlet (en); beija-flor-de-barriga-dourada (pt); inca de Bonaparte (fr); inca ventridorado (es); goldbauchmusketier (de)

Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

This species is found in northern Colombia and western Venezuela, along the Andes and in Sierra de Perija.

These birds are 11-14 cm long and weigh 6-7 g.

The golden-bellied starfrontlet is found in mountain rainforests and high-altitude tropical scrublands, at altitudes of 1.400-3.200 m.

They mainly feed on the nectar of flowering plants, such as Bomarea, Cavendishia, Fuchsia, Macleania, Mutisia and Palicourea, but also hunt some insects and other small arthropods.

These birds are polygynous, with males mating with multiple females and having no further part in the breeding process. Each female builds the nest alone, where she lays 2 white eggs. She incubates the eggs alone for 16-19 days and then raises the chicks alone until fledging. There is no information regarding the length of the fledgling period.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively large but patchy breeding range. The global population size has not been quantified, but the golden-bellied starfrontlet is described as uncommon. The population is suspected to be declining owing to habitat loss caused by illegal roads and settlements and illegal mineral exploitation.

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