Long-billed Hermit

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Phaethornis longirostris

Long-billed Hermit

The Long-billed Hermit is a large hummingbird with a very long and decurved bill, and a long tapered tail.

It is 5.9 inches long and weighs 6 grams. The very long and decurved bill (1.34 – 1.5 inches), has a black upper and pale orange lower mandible, and the central feathers of the tapered tail are long (2.3 – 2.7 inches) and white-tipped.

Adults are mainly dark green above with a blue-green rump. They have a dark mask through the eye, with buff stripes above and below this, and a brown face. Underparts are gray to buff in color.

Both sexes are similar, although the females are slightly smaller, but young birds have buff fringes to the feathers of the upperparts and head.

CALL: Flight call is a high "sweep".

SONG: Consists of high pitched squeaky of "chink churr" and "shree" sounds (competitive lek song given by males).

Nectar is taken from large flowers, such as Heliconias and passion flowers, and small insects and spiders taken as essential sources of protein.

Inhabits forest undergrowth, usually near water and its preferred food plants.

Resident breeder from central Mexico south to northwestern Colombia, extreme western Venezuela and western Ecuador.

The female is solely responsible for nest construction, incubation and feeding the young.

She builds a conical nest of fibers and cobwebs suspended under a large Heliconia or banana leaf 1.2 - 1.5 meters above the ground.

She lays 2 white eggs which she incubates for 4 – 19 days, with another 18 - 28 days to fledging.


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