Rufous-breasted Hermit

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Glaucis hirsutus

Rufous-breasted Hermit

The Rufous-breasted Hermit, also known as the Hairy Hermit is a fairly large hermit with rufous underparts and no elongated central tail feathers. Its long decurved bill has a yellow lower mandible.

It is 4.2 inches long and weighs 7 grams on average. Bill is around 1.3 inches and is strongly decurved, long and thin – though compared to the bills of other hummingbirds, it is rather robust.

It has a brownish head, bronze-green upperparts and rufous underparts. Tail has green central feathers and rufous outer feathers, all tipped white. Bill has a yellow lower mandible and a black upper mandible.

Sexes are similar, but the males have yellow streaking on the upper mandible, and the females may be slightly duller in plumage.

The bill of females is also proportionally a bit shorter (though this is hardly recognizable) and more decurved (which is quite conspicuous in direct comparison).

Feeds on nectar, taken from a variety of understory flowers, and some small invertebrates.

Inhabits forest undergrowth, often near running water.

Breeds from Panama south to Bolivia, and on Trinidad, Tobago and Grenada.

Both sexes build the nest, a small cup made of plant fibers, rootlets, spider webs, dried leaves, very slender twigs, and lichens, which is attached to the underside of a leaf of a palm tree or fern, 1 - 10 meters above the ground.

The female lays 2 white eggs, which she incubates alone for 16 - 19 days.


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