Purple-Backed Sunbeam

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Aglaeactis Aliciae

Purple-Backed Sunbeam

The Purple-Backed Sunbeam is a bird species in the family Trochilidae. It has a bronzy-brown plumage with irregular white patches on the face, throat, and white teardrop-shaped spots on breast. Adult males have iridescent purple and green lower backs, but it is indistinct or lacking on females and younger birds.

BILL: Black and straight.

SIZE: 12 cm (5 in) in length.

It is overall dusky with an irregular white patch on the breast. It also has a white chin, lores, and area around the eyes. Rump in the adult male is iridescent purple with shades of golden. Tail is slightly notched and mostly dusky, with white on the base. It may overlap with the common and widespread Shining Sunbeam.

Feeds on mistletoe alders and other trees, such as Tristerix longebrachteatum, and in patches of flowering uñico, Oreocallis grandiflora. It has also recently been reported to feed and settle in the newly introduced Eucalyptus trees, however, the species' level of tolerance of Eucalyptus plantations (specifically as breeding habitat) is yet to be determined. There are no definite conservation procedures for the purple-backed sunbeam. Additional research is needed to examine the species’ ecological requirements, so that the suitability of Eucalyptus plantations can be assessed.

Known to live in the temperate zone (2,900-3,500 m) where plant life consists of mountain shrubs and Alnus trees.

Found only in Peru.

Like with most other hummingbirds, it is said to be solitary, and insistently territorial.

Males mate with several females, but have no part in raising the offspring. The female is solely responsible for nest-building, incubation, and nurturing the hatchlings. 

NEST: Nest has never been seen, but it is believed that the species build nests close to a nectar source, on branches hidden from direct sunlight.

CLUTCH SIZE: In most hummingbirds, two oval-shaped eggs are laid.

INCUBATION: 16 to 19 days.

NESTLING PHASE: 23 and 26 days after hatching.


Purple-Backed Sunbeam Infographic 




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