The Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, so called from its forked tail, is one of the largest hummingbirds in cities and gardens, but it also occurs in gallery forests, bushy pastures and edges of woods or coppices. It is green, except for the blue head and upper breast, turning to iridescent purple according to the direction of light; it has dark wings and a heavy black bill. The tail is dark blue with the external feathers longer than central ones. It is very aggressive and attacks other hummingbirds that dare to visit flowers in certain trees. Where the flowers are available for many months, the individual is fiercely territorial, but generally needs to search soon for other flowering plants. It flies to catch small insets on or under leaves in the gallery forests or woodlands. The female builds a small cup-shaped nest saddled on a branch, not far from the main trunk in the shade of leaves. Perched on favorite branches, the male can utter long but low chirps. Once in a while, it interrupts these singing sessions to feed, and flies back for more song or to clean the plumage. They occur from the Guianas and Amazon River to Paraguay and southeastern Peru. They can get along with partially deforested zones, but may disappear with intensive agriculture and with the development of treeless cities.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Posted by Nature Lover at 4:07:00 AM