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Great Sapphirewing

From Opus

Male, subspecies peruvianusPhoto by EcuadorrebelYanacocha Reserve, north-western Ecuador, July 2010
Male, subspecies peruvianus
Photo by Ecuadorrebel
Yanacocha Reserve, north-western Ecuador, July 2010
Pterophanes cyanopterus


[edit] Identification

A very large (15-20 cm., 6-8 in.) hummingbird. Long (30mm) bill with slight upturn.
Male is irridescent green above; blue-green below. Wings blue to purple. Small white post-ocular spot.
Female has browner crown, less intense coloration in general, and rufous breast with speckled green flanks.

[edit] Similar Species

FemalePhoto by COLOMBIA BirdingEastern Andes, Colombia, August 2009
Photo by COLOMBIA Birding
Eastern Andes, Colombia, August 2009

This is the largest hummingbird in its habitat (the Giant Hummingbird does not come to such humid areas). Shares slow wing beats with the Giant Hummingbird.

[edit] Distribution

South America: found in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia between 2000 and 3600m in elevation.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Male in flightPhoto by Glenn BartleyColombia, 2017
Male in flight
Photo by Glenn Bartley
Colombia, 2017

Three subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • P.c. cyanopterus:
  • P.c. caeruleus:
  • Central Andes to extreme south-western Andes of Colombia
  • P.c. peruvianus:

[edit] Habitat

Shrubby borders of high-altitude temperate forests areas.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Action

Fast, direct flight.

[edit] Diet

Feeds at flowers either from hover or perch. Is attracted to feeders.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from

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