Black-Breasted Hillstar 

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Oreotrochilus melanogaster

The Black-Breasted Hillstar is a species of hummingbird in the family Trochilidae.

It is now considered a full species, following debate about the possibility of a melanistic morph of the Andean Hillstar.

It measures about 4.7 – 5.1 inches in length and weighs 8.4 grams.

Adult males have greenish upperparts, including head and scapulars, darker and more bronzed than Andean Hillstar. Flight-feathers are dark brown. Tail is blue-black, without white on rectrices.

Gorget is bright emerald green. Rest of underparts is black, but flanks are pale buff and vent is brownish.

Bill (160-180 mm) is black and slightly decurved. Eyes are dark brown. Legs and feet are black.

Both males and females have a small, white patch on the rear eye.

Adult females are very similar to the female Andean Hillstar, but lack the white bases on rectrices.

However, the dusky tail feathers show broad, white tips. They are greenish above and grayish below, with dark specks on the white throat.

Their vocal behavior is poorly known. Only a rapid, squeaky twittering with ascending and falling phrases has been heard during the chases.

Feeds mainly on nectar from Chuquiragua spinosa shrubs. But other plant species are also visited.

Puna slopes where it can feed on nectar from shrubs of Chuquiragua spinosa and cacti species.

These places include rocky areas with vegetation, especially herbaceous, in sheltered situations.

The species is visible between 3,500 and 4,400 meters of elevation.

Fairly common in puna in C Peru, in Junín and Huancavelica, but also locally into the mountains of Ancash, Lima, Pasco and Ayacucho.

Nest is a cup-shaped structure glued to the rock surface or under ledge.  

The female lays two white eggs.





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