Rainbow-bearded Thornbill

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Chalcostigma herrani

Rainbow-bearded Thornbill

The Rainbow-bearded Thornbill is a species of hummingbird in the family Trochilodae.

It is a medium-sized hummingbird, about 4.25 – 4.29 inches in length, with a short, needle-like bill. It is mostly dark green with a white dot behind the eye, black primaries and white undertail coverts.

Head has a long, rufous crest. The gorget ("beard"), more prominent in the male bird, is a rainbow of colors from celadon-green through turquoise to yellow and red at the lower end.

Tail is large and dark purple color with prominent white tips at the corners. These white tips are most easily seen from below. Feet are black.

Females are pale yellowish-ochre from lower belly to the undertail coverts.

Juvenile birds have white speckles on the throat and does not have a beard.

Utters a short tinkle followed by several squeaky notes, usually more melodious “tititrtrtrrr-skeew-skeew-skeew” and variants.

Mostly feeds on the nectar of small flowers on low bushes and shrubs. It often clings to these flowers while feeding. It will take insect prey when available.

It is a hummingbird of high altitudes, typically found from 2800 to 4100 meters in Colombia and 2800-3700 meters in Ecuador.

Its primary habitat is elfin forest, open country with bushy patches and small woodlands, and gulleys with thickets of ferns and bromeliads.

Found in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

The female lays 1 - 2 pinkish-white eggs and incubates alone. The high-Andean species usually incubate during 22 - 23 days, and the young fledge about 30 - 40 days after hatching.



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