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Blue-tailed Hummingbird

Saucerottia cyanura

The Blue-tailed Hummingbird, known scientifically as Saucerottia cyanura, is a diminutive avian jewel, measuring a mere 9 to 10 centimeters in length. Males of the species typically weigh around 3.9 grams, while females are slightly heavier at approximately 4.5 grams. Both sexes boast a black bill with a reddish base to the mandible, adding a touch of color to their otherwise dark visage.

Identification Tips

To identify the Blue-tailed Hummingbird, look for the male's deep metallic green crown and back, complemented by a dull purplish bronze rump and dark metallic bluish uppertail coverts. The primaries and secondaries are a rich chestnut, visible as a patch when the wings are closed, and the tail shimmers with a dark metallic violet blue. The underparts are a bright metallic green with dull steel blue undertail coverts. Females resemble the males but are somewhat duller, with less purplish rumps and underparts featuring narrow whitish margins. Their bellies are intermixed with dull buffy whitish, and their undertail coverts are grayish.

Habitat

This species thrives in semi-open landscapes, including the edges and clearings of both humid and dry oak and pine forests, secondary forests, scrublands, and even shade coffee plantations.

Distribution

The Blue-tailed Hummingbird is found across a range of Central American countries, from Costa Rica to Mexico. Its subspecies are distributed along the Pacific slope from southeastern Chiapas in Mexico to southern Guatemala, southern Honduras, eastern El Salvador, northwestern Nicaragua, and northwestern and central Costa Rica.

Behaviour

While the details of the Blue-tailed Hummingbird's movements remain undocumented, it is known to forage for nectar throughout the various strata of its habitat. It is particularly fond of Inga trees and, like its hummingbird kin, likely consumes insects as well.

Song & calls

The Blue-tailed Hummingbird's vocal repertoire includes a short twittering song, a hard, raspy "bzzzrt," sharp chips, and a high, piercing "siik!" call, typically emitted in flight.

Breeding

The breeding behaviors, including nest and egg descriptions, of the Blue-tailed Hummingbird remain a mystery to ornithologists.

Similar Species

There are no detailed descriptions of similar species provided, but as with many hummingbirds, it may be confused with other species in the same genus or those with similar coloration.

Diet and Feeding

While specific dietary details are scarce, the Blue-tailed Hummingbird is known to frequent Inga trees for nectar and is presumed to partake in insect consumption.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the Blue-tailed Hummingbird as Least Concern, with a large range and an estimated population of at least 50,000 mature individuals. Despite a suspected population decline, no immediate threats have been identified, and human activity is thought to have little short-term effect on this species.

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Blue-tailed Hummingbirds on Birda

Sightings
A map showing the sighting location
🦉
Steven Gurka
23 Feb 2022 - 10:43pm
Guatemala

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Speckled Hummingbird

Adelomyia melanogenys
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