Stripe-throated Hermit

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Phaethornis striigularis

Stripe-throated Hermit

The Stripe-throated Hermit is among the smaller species of hermits. As in most other hermits, it has a long, decurved bill. The basal half of the lower mandible is yellow, but otherwise the entire bill is black.

It has a total length of 3.5 – 3.9 inches and a weight of 2 – 3 grams. The wing-coverts, mantle, nape and crown are dull iridescent green, the rump is pale rufous, the belly and flanks are buff, and the central underparts and throat are pale grayish brown, the latter with small dark streaks that often are faint and difficult to see.

Face has a blackish "bandit-mask" border above by a whitish-buff supercilium and below by whitish-buff malar. Flight-feathers and tail are blackish; the latter tipped whitish to ochraceous depending on the subspecies involved.

The sexes are virtually identical.

Juveniles apparently have the entire back pale rufous.

The male has a song which is high-pitched, squeaky, monotonous and easily overheard. Its exact structure varies over the species' range.

Feeds on flower-nectar taken by trap- lining. It has also been observed piercing the base of flowers to get nectar that otherwise would be out of reach; sometimes it takes small insects.

Found in a wide range of wooded habitats, e.g. forest, woodland, clearings, thickets and gardens; typically, in humid regions, but locally also in drier, deciduous habitats.

Mainly found in lowlands and foothills.

Occurs in southern Mexico (north-eastern Oaxaca and southern Veracruz east to southern Quintana Roo), Belize, north- eastern Guatemala, northern and eastern Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, western, central and northern Colombia (mainly Pacific lowlands and the Magdalena valley region), western Ecuador (south to El Oro) and north- eastern Venezuela (both slopes of the Andes and northern mountains).

Nest is a small cup with a dangling "tail" below it. It consists of plant-material held together by spiderwebs.

The female lays 2 eggs which she incubates alone. The eggs hatch after 15 – 16 days.


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