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White-booted Racket-tail - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Ocreatus underwoodii)
Photo © by mmdnje
Tandayapa, Ecuador, December 2007
Ocreatus underwoodii



  • Iridescent green above with golden flashes
  • Green underparts
  • White post-ocular spot
  • Long tail streamers ending in bluish spoon shaped rackets
  • Short, straight bill
  • Dark iris
  • White, puffed up feathers surrounding the legs


  • Similar to male but with
  • White underparts, flecked with green in the north but female of southern subspecies have almost entirely white underside
  • Tail shorter than male, lacks rackets, but deep fork with white tips to outer rectrices
  • White post-ocular spot and a narrow white stripe in the malar region
  • Puffs around legs are smaller than in male


Male of subspecies incommodus has extensive black chin and upper throat, black in melanantherus is smaller. Northern birds (Venezuela and nearest Colombia) are more bronze-colored than the rest.


South America: found in Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador.

Adult male in flight
Photo © by cfagyal
Tandayapa, Ecuador, September 2004


One of three species formerly combined as Booted Racket-tail.

Adult female
Photo © by Megan Perkins
Tandayapa, Ecuador, February 2005


Five subspecies are recognized[1].

  • O. u. polystictus:
  • Coastal mountains of northern Venezuela (Carabobo to Miranda)
  • O. u. discifer:
  • O. u. underwoodii:
  • O. u. incommodus:
  • O. u. melanantherus:
  • West slope of the Andes of Ecuador (south to El Oro and western Loja)


Subtropical to temperate forest, more likely at edges, ravines, roads, etc than at deep forest interior. May use second growth to rainforest, cloud forest, elfin forest, and coffee plantations. Most common between 1600 to 2200 m asl but may be found both above and below.


Males seems to be territorial, especially contra other males of same species.


Includes nectar and insects. Most frequently feeding in mid story to canopy, but lower at forest edge and gardens. Readily visits garden feeders.


Sounds include both calls and mechanical sounds (wing hum and beating the rackets against each other).


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2022. IOC World Bird List (v 12.2) DRAFT. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.12.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Birdforum Member observations
  4. Restall et al. 2006. Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156
  5. Erize et al. 2006 Birds of South America, non-passerines. Princeton Illustrated Checklists, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. ISBN 0-691-12688-7
  6. García, N. C., K.L. Schuchmann, and P. F. D. Boesman (2022). White-booted Racket-tail (Ocreatus underwoodii), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (B. K. Keeney, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.boorat1.01

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