Gilded Sapphire

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Hylocharis chrysura

Gilded Sapphire

The Gilded Sapphire, also known as the Gilded Hummingbird is a deceptively dull-looking, but in the right light has a golden-green back and breast and a bronze tail.

It is a medium-sized hummingbird measuring about 3.15 - 3.94 inches in length and weighs about 4 - 4.5 grams.

Adults have iridescent golden green upperparts and underparts, except the white thighs and the pale rufous chin. Flight feathers are olive-brown. Tail rectrices are glittering golden bronze.

Head is golden green too, with white spot behind the eye. The long bill is red and black-tipped. Eyes are brown. Legs and feet are black.

Both sexes are similar, but females are duller with greenish vent.

Immatures resemble females, but with edged buff head feathers.

The Gilded Sapphire, as other hummingbirds, is often heard before they could be seen.

It utters high-pitched chirps and whistles, often unmelodious.

During the defense of the feeding territory, calls often are aggressive, given in series of loud chattering.

Alarm calls are uttered at high frequency. They are very shrill and given when predators are approaching. These calls often accompany aerial attacks.

Feeds mainly on nectar and pollen from flowers. It also hawks insects in flight or from the outer vegetation.

Frequents gardens and plantations, but also savannahs with some trees and bushes. It may be seen at forest edges and from 200 to 1000 meters of elevation, sometimes locally higher.

Has wide range in South America, living in southern Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and northern Argentina.

Nest is a small open, cup-shaped structure made with cobwebs and seed fibers from bromeliads and other plants.

Exterior is decorated with lichen and pieces of leaf. It is situated on a thin horizontal branch, at about 4 - 6 meters above the ground, sometimes up to 12 meters.

The female lays 2 eggs and incubates them for 14 days.


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