Straight-billed hermit

Straight-billed hermit
Phaethornis bourcieri
Photo by Maxime Dechelle (Oiseaux)

Common name:
straight-billed hermit (en); rabo-branco-de-bico-direito (pt); ermite de Bourcier (fr); ermitaño de pico recto (es); braunbauch-schattenkolibri (de)

Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

This South American species is found in the northern Amazon basin, in northern Brazil, the Guyanas, southern Venezuela, southern Colombia, eastern Ecuador and eastern Peru.

These birds are 12-13 cm long and weigh just 4 g.

Straight-billed hermits are found in the understory of rainforests, tropical mountain forests, swamp forests and moist scrubland, also being found in second growths, bamboo thickets and plantations. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.600 m.

They feed on the nectar of various flowers, also taking some small arthropods.

The straight-billed hermit nests in a a cone-shaped cup made of plant materials, placed hanging from a large leaf which folds under its weight forming a natural cover that hides the nest. There the female lays 1-3 white eggs which she incubates alone for 17-18 days. The chicks fledge 21-23 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as fairly common. Based on the current rate of deforestation in the Amazonian forest, this species is suspected to be facing a moderate decline. Despite this, the straight-billed hermit is not considered threatened at present.

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