Tufted Coquette

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Lophornis ornatus


The Tufted Coquette is a tiny, ornately patterned hummingbird and more common and widespread than other coquettes in range.

It is a very small hummingbird, measuring 2.56 – 2.75 inches in length and weighs about 2.3 – 2.8 grams. It is more similar to an insect than to a bird.

Adult males have iridescent coppery-green back. Their rump shows a buffy-white band which is visible when flying. Uppertail coverts are purplish. Central tail feathers are bronze-green, whereas the other rectrices are rather rufous with green edges and tips.

Wings show bronze-green scapulars and darker grayish-green flight feathers. They have white feathers on their thighs.
Underparts are paler green, with more glossy green throat. They show elongated feathers forming a kind of fan from the cheeks. These feathers are bright rufous and each one presents a dark green shiny spot at the tip.

Head shows green forehead, ear-coverts and nape, and a conspicuous long rufous crest on the crown. The straight bill is red, with black tip. Eyes are dark brown. Legs and feet are grayish.

Females are slightly different, lacking the crest and fan-like tufts on head sides. They have a buff band on the rump. Uppertail feathers show entire bronze-green central rectrices, and second half of external feathers, which are rufous at the base. Tail is tipped pale rufous to cinnamon. They have a blackish bill. Underparts are rufous, paler on belly, and green on flanks.

Immature birds are similar to females, with whitish throats showing fine dark spots.

Utters light “chik” while feeding. 

Feeds mainly on nectar from flowers of several plant species. It also consumes small invertebrates.

Lives at the edges of humid forest, in thickets, gardens and plantations. It is visible from 100 to 1000 meters of elevation.

Lives in the north-eastern of South America, in eastern Venezuela, Trinidad, the Guianas and northern Brazil.

Nest is usually selected by the female near nectar source. It is a small cup made with fine materials such as fibers and plant down, situated in vegetation, at about 2 meters above the ground, on a branch.

She usually lays two white eggs and incubates during 2 weeks. Young fledge about 20 days after hatching.



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