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Purple-crowned Fairy

From Opus

Heliothryx barroti
MalePhoto by HelenBLa Paz Waterfall Gardens, Costa Rica, March 2007
Male
Photo by HelenB
La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Costa Rica, March 2007

Contents

[edit] Identification

Length: 10cm (4") Weight: 5.6g
Upper parts are a bright metallic green, underparts pure white, bill is black.
Male has a violet crown and forehead, a black mask terminating in a violet spot, with a bright green malar stripe below. The long tail is blue-black in the center, with white outer tail feathers.
Female similar, with longer tail which has a black basal band, and lacking the violet crown and green malar stripe below the eye.

[edit] Similar Species

Virtually unmistakable in range.
The male of the very similar Black-eared Fairy lacks the purple crown, and females of the two species are identical, but there is no overlap in distribution.

[edit] Distribution

Central and South America: found in south-eastern Mexico, through Central America and western Colombia, to south-western Ecuador (El Oro).

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species, which has been considered conspecific with Black-eared Fairy.

[edit] Habitat

Mid-levels and sub-canopy of humid forest and woodland; also lower levels in more open second growth, and shady gardens. Lowlands.

[edit] Behaviour

The bird catches small insects in the air, as well as gleaning them from foliage. When feeding on nectar, it pierces a small hole at the base of large flowers, giving access to nectar that otherwise only is accessible to hummingbirds with longer bills (e.g. Long-billed Hermit). Its flight is light and graceful.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.

[edit] External Links


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