Long-tailed Hermit Hummingbird
Scientific name: Phaethornis superciliosus
Length: 6 inches (15 cm)
Identification: Having both a long curved bill and a long white tail, the
long-tailed hermit hummingbird has a dark bronzy-brown crown (head) and body with
a lighter chest and underside. The female has a smaller wingspan than the male.
Habitat and range: Found in the lowland edges of tropical forests, especially
along streams, the P. superciliosus ranges from Mexico through Central America and
into northern South America.
FYI: The long-tailed hermit may fasten its nest from a hanging palm leaf.
Also, since the voice of one hummingbird is relatively weak, male long-tail hermits
will group together for "communal singing" in "leks" for the
purpose of attracting females for mating. T.A.W. Davis reported assemblies in Guyana
of two to three -- and rarely, more than 100 singers. Source: Alexander F. Skutch,
The Life of the Hummingbird (New York: Vineyard Books, Inc., 1973), p. 60. P.
superciliosus is now sometimes called the eastern long-tailed hermit hummingbird,
and it was called the "supercilious humming-bird" in the 1800s, i.e., -ious
compared to -iosus. Some naturalists suggest that the propensity of hummingbirds
to quickly circle a walking human may be an abundance of energy manifested in playful
amusement for the bird. Source: "Hummingbird," The Audubon Nature Encyclopedia,
1965, Vol. 5, p. 894.
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