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Mexican Woodnymph

Eupherusa ridgwayi

The Mexican woodnymph, a diminutive and enchanting hummingbird, graces the forests of western Mexico with its presence. Males, typically 9-10 centimeters in length and weighing between 3.5 to 4.2 grams, boast a straight black bill, a predominantly green plumage with a dull green chest, a blue-black forked tail, and a striking indigo crown. Females, similar in size but lighter at around 3.5 grams, share the green body but have a lighter gray chest, darker green tail and wings, and lack the indigo crown, instead sporting a white spot behind their eyes and green disks on their chest sides.

Identification Tips

When observing these birds, look for the male's indigo crown and the female's distinctive white eye spot. Their size and the male's forked tail are also key characteristics that can aid in identification.

Habitat

The Mexican woodnymph thrives in the humid forests, canyons, and foothills within its range, at elevations from 250 to 1200 meters. It has adapted to various environments, including forest edges, open woodlands, and even some coffee plantations.

Distribution

This species is endemic to the northern mountains of western Mexico, with sightings confirmed in the states of Nayarit, Jalisco, and Colima. They are non-migratory, remaining within their limited range throughout the year.

Behaviour

Mexican woodnymphs are known for their sedentary nature, staying within their home range all year round. They are the northernmost species within their genus, a testament to their specialized adaptation to the local environment.

Song & Calls

The vocal repertoire of the Mexican woodnymph includes an irregular series of 2-4 quick notes, often described as a "liquid rattle," adding a melodic layer to their forest habitat.

Breeding

The breeding season for these birds occurs in February and March. Sexual dimorphism is pronounced, with males displaying a variety of colors and feather arrangements that are believed to play a role in sexual selection.

Diet and Feeding

As nectivorous and insectivorous creatures, Mexican woodnymphs feed on the nectar of a diverse array of flowering plants, including those from the Rubiaceae and Zingiberaceae families, as well as epiphytes. They also consume arthropods, either by catching them mid-air or foraging from vegetation.

Conservation status

The Mexican woodnymph is currently listed as vulnerable, with habitat loss due to deforestation posing a significant threat to its survival. The species' restricted range makes it particularly susceptible to changes in forest health in western Mexico. Unfortunately, the lack of detailed information on their habitat needs and natural history hampers conservation efforts.

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Mexican Woodnymphs on Birda

Sightings
A map showing the sighting location
🦆
James Leone
24 Mar 2024 - 12:37pm
Mexico

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