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A photo of a Rufous-breasted Hermit (Glaucis hirsutus)
Rufous-breasted Hermit

Rufous-breasted Hermit

Glaucis hirsutus

The rufous-breasted hermit or hairy hermit (Glaucis hirsutus) is a hummingbird that breeds from Panama south to Bolivia, and on Trinidad, Tobago and Grenada. It is a widespread and generally common species, though local populations may change in numbers and disappear altogether in marginal habitat. The rufous-breasted hermit is 10.7 cm long and weighs 7 g on average. The bill measures around 3.3 cm and is strongly decurved, long and thin – though compared to the bills of other hummingbirds, it is rather robust. The rufous-breasted hermit has a brownish head, bronze-green upperparts and rufous underparts. The tail has green central feathers and rufous outer feathers, all tipped white. The bill has a yellow lower mandible and a black upper mandible. Sexes are similar, but the male has yellow streaking on the upper mandible, and the female may be slightly duller in plumage. The bill of females is also proportionally a bit shorter (though this is hardly recognizable) and more decurved (which is quite conspicuous in direct comparison). Males are somewhat more distinct, resembling a barbthroat (Threnetes). They were once described as a distinct species, the "black barbthroat" ("T. grzimeki"). Similarly, the proposed subspecies abrawayae is apparently based on individual variation occurring in adults and not taxonomically distinct either. The call of this species is a high-pitched sweet.
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