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Wire-crested thorntail

Discosura popelairii

Photo by Niels Dreyer (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
wire-crested thorntail (en); bandeirinha-de-Popelaire (pt); coquette de Popelaire (fr); rabudito crestado (es); haubenfadenelfe (de)

Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

This species is found along the eastern slopes of the Andes, from central Colombia to southern Peru.

These birds are sexually dimorphic. The females are 7,5-8 cm long, while the males are up to 11,5 cm long including the elongated tail feathers. They weigh about 2,5 g.

The wire-crested thorntail is found in moist tropical forests at altitudes of 400-1.200 m.

They feed mainly on nectar, particularly of Inga trees, but also take some arthropods.

The is little information about the reproduction of wire-crested thorntails. One nest was found in Colombia, in April, placed at the end of a tree branch about 8 m above the ground.

IUCN status – NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a large breeding range but is described as generally rare to uncommon. Although there is no data on population trends, the wire-crested thorntail is suspected to lose 28% of suitable habitat within its range over the next decade based on a model of Amazonian deforestation, being therefore suspected to suffer a moderately rapid decline in the near future.

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