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Broad-tipped Hermit

Anopetia gounellei

The Broad-tipped Hermit, Anopetia gounellei, is a diminutive hummingbird species endemic to Brazil. This avian jewel measures approximately 11 to 12.6 cm in length and tips the scales at a mere 2.6 to 3.4 grams. Its plumage is a tapestry of bronzy green across the upperparts, while the underparts are adorned with shades of light brownish to ochraceous. A distinctive black "mask" graces its face, complemented by a white supercilium and malar stripe. The throat is dark brown, framed by an orangy border. The species' moniker is inspired by its unique bill, with a broad maxilla that overlaps the mandible. The tail is noteworthy for its two elongated inner feathers, each finished with a white tip.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Broad-tipped Hermit, look for its relatively small size among hermit hummingbirds and its distinctive bill shape. The combination of the black facial mask, white supercilium, and malar stripe, along with the bronzy green upperparts and lighter underparts, are key visual cues. The white-tipped tail feathers are also a helpful characteristic.

Habitat

This species thrives in the somewhat humid caatinga regions, where dense undergrowth provides a lush understory beneath the shrubbery and trees. It can also be found in more open cerrado landscapes.

Distribution

The Broad-tipped Hermit's range is confined to northeastern Brazil, spanning from Ceará southward to western Bahia and northeastern Minas Gerais. It resides at elevations from sea level up to approximately 1,200 meters.

Behaviour

The Broad-tipped Hermit is primarily sedentary, though it may exhibit minor seasonal movements. It is thought to follow a "trap-line" feeding strategy, visiting a regular circuit of flowers to sip nectar.

Song & calls

The vocal repertoire of the Broad-tipped Hermit includes a song that is a rising and falling bisyllabic series of notes 'si-lew', which can sometimes be varied with a longer 'suweesi'.

Breeding

While the full scope of its breeding season remains to be defined, it is known to span at least from December to February. The nests are cup-shaped structures suspended beneath leaves, and the typical clutch consists of two eggs. Interestingly, males have been observed partaking in incubation duties. There is also evidence suggesting that the species may engage in lekking behavior.

Diet and Feeding

The Broad-tipped Hermit's diet consists of nectar from a diverse array of flowering plants, supplemented by small arthropods.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the Broad-tipped Hermit as Least Concern. Although the exact population size and trend are not known, the species is regularly observed within its habitat, which is considered relatively unthreatened.

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