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Rufous-tailed hummingbird

Amazilia tzacatl

Photo by Joseph Boone (Wikipedia)

Common name:
rufous-tailed hummingbird (en); beija-flor-de-cauda-ruiva (pt); ariane à ventre gris (fr); amazilia de cola rufa (es); braunschwanz-amazilie (de)

Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

This species is found from southern Mexico to north-western Venezuela, western Colombia and western Ecuador.

These birds are 9-11 cm long and weigh 4,5-5,5 g.

The rufous-tailed hummingbird is mostly found in tropical moist forests, generally favouring forest clearings, forest edges and secondary forests. They also use mangroves, gardens in rural and urban areas, plantations and moist scrublands. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.500 m.

They feed mainly on nectar, especially of Heliconia, banana  and coffee flowers. They also hunt some small insects.

Rufous-tailed hummingbirds can breed all year round, varying between different parts of their range. Males are polygynous, mating with several females and having no further part in the breeding process. The female builds the nest, a cup made of plant fibres, leaves, and cobwebs and covered with lichen and moss. It is placed in a small tree or bush, 0,5-6 m above the ground. There she lays 2 white eggs, which she incubates alone for 15-16 days. The chicks are fed by the mother alone and fledge 18-22 days after hatching. They only become independent about 2 month later.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 0,5-5 million individuals. The population is believed to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines, in fact this species may benefit from human presence as they often visit bird feeders, prefer areas where the vegetation was cut down and often feed at banana and coffee plantations.

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