Brown Violet-ear

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Colibri delphinae

Brown Violet-ear

The Brown Violet-ear is an uncommon, rather large but drab, fairly short-billed hummingbird of tropical and subtropical forests and edges.

It is a large hummingbird measuring about 4.5 inches long and weighs 6.5 – 7 grams.

It is mainly dull brown, with a rufous rump and grayer underparts. There is a violet patch running back and down from the eye, a hermit-like malar stripe, and a glittering green and blue throat stripe. Bill is relatively short and almost straight.

Females are similar to the males, but have a smaller throat patch.

Immature birds have rufous fringes to the upperpart plumage, and little or no violet behind the eyes.

SONG: A vigorous repetition of the chit call, and is delivered by up to several dozen breeding males in loose leks.

Feeds on nectar from small flowers of trees and epiphytes. It also takes insects, often caught in flight (hawking), as an essential source of protein.

Although not particularly territorial, they are highly aggressive, and at feeders seem to spend far more time attacking other hummingbirds than actually feeding.

Typically found high in the canopy of the rainforest, tall second growth and coffee plantations, but it will feed at lower levels at edges and clearings.

Breeds at middle elevations in the mountains in Central America, and western and northern South America (primarily the Andes and the tepuis) with isolated populations on Trinidad and in the Brazilian state Bahia.

The nest is a small cup of plant down saddled on a twig 1–3 meters high in a bush, into which 2 white eggs are laid.


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