Chilean Woodstar 

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Eulidia yarrellii

The Chilean Woodstar is a small bird in the hummingbird family, Trochilidae.

It is usually classified in its own genus Eulidia, but is sometimes placed with the purple-collared woodstar in the genus Myrtis.

In 2013, it was classed as endangered, but recently, it was classed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List.

It is the smallest bird in Chile, 2.8 – 2.95 inches long with the bill accounting for 0.6 inch of this. Bill is black, straight, slender, and fairly short, about the same length as the head. Tail is often held in a cocked position.

Adult males are iridescent green above and whitish below with green sides. Throat is reddish-purple and blue, but often appears blackish. Tail is long, black, and forked, with long, pointed outer feathers that curve inwards.

Females are green above and have a white throat, while the rest of the underparts are mostly very pale buff, darkest on the belly and thighs. Tail is short and slightly graduated with green inner feathers. Outer feathers are black with a rufous base and white tips.

Female similar to Peruvian Sheartail, but has shorter tail with pale rusty bases to outer feathers (hard to see).

Immature males are similar to the females, but have a mottled throat and may have elongated outer tail feathers.

The call is a series of rasping notes, quieter and less musical than the call of the Peruvian sheartail.

The male has a high-pitched, buzzing display call.

It is a solitary feeder whose diet mainly consists of nectar.

Scrub and thickets along river valleys within desert regions. It is mainly found lower than 750 m above sea level, but occasionally occurs above 2000 m.

It prefers natural vegetation, feeding on native shrubs such as Geoffroea decorticans. It also occurs in gardens and fruit groves, feeding on the flowers of Lantana, Hibiscus and Citrus.

It is currently known to breed only in the Azapa and Vitor valleys in Arica and Parinacota Region in far northern Chile.

It formerly occurred in the Lluta River valley, but has not been found there during recent surveys. Also, an old record was made from Antofagasta Province.

In Peru, a number of sight records are from Tacna Region and possibly Moquegua Region, but the species has not been recorded recently.


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