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Length 12-13.5cm (4Â¾-5Â¼ in)
Female: Duller overall, and lacks the violet throat of the male; Pale brown underparts, tail is shorter and uniform length, with white underside tips.
There are two separate populations of Rhodopis vesper: the first occupies a 100-200km wide strip extending the length of Peru's coastline. The second is in a narrower strip along the dry coastline of Chile where registered almost to Santiago.
Three subspecies are recognized:
This is a bird of extreme dry climates; the coastal areas of Peru and Chile often see no measurable rain for long periods of time. However, the Andes Mountain chain produces streams that cut to the coast, and this bird takes advantage of the vegetation along these oases, foraging in often dense thickets of thorny plants.
Typical of other hummingbirds, it seeks out nectar from the flowering shrubs, cacti and trees. They also hawk for flying insects.
They use branches of fig, lemon and orange trees to suspend their cup-shaped nests.
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