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Violet-bellied Hummingbird

Chlorestes julie

The Violet-bellied Hummingbird, Chlorestes julie, is a diminutive avian jewel, with the male sporting a resplendent violet belly that glistens in the sunlight. This species is adorned with a metallic green back and crown, and both sexes possess long, rounded tails, straight and short bills, and a distinctive pink lower mandible.

Identification Tips

To identify the Violet-bellied Hummingbird, look for the male's vibrant violet blue breast and belly, metallic green back, crown, and throat, and bronze green rump. The female, while more subdued, shares the metallic bronze green back and crown but has a pale gray belly. Both sexes have dusky wings with a purple sheen and blue black rectrices, with the female's outer rectrices tipped in pale gray.

Habitat

These hummingbirds inhabit the understory of humid deciduous forests, forest edges, and regrowth forests, where they flit about in a ceaseless quest for sustenance.

Distribution

The Violet-bellied Hummingbird is found from central Panama, through Colombia, to southwestern Ecuador, and the extreme northwestern point of Peru. They are non-migratory, remaining in their range throughout the year.

Behaviour

Males are polygynous, courting multiple females with song and acrobatic displays. After mating, they take no part in rearing the young. Females build nests and care for the offspring alone. These birds may live up to 4.2 years in the wild.

Song & Calls

The Violet-bellied Hummingbird's vocalizations can be heard on xeno-canto, where their delicate songs add to the rich tapestry of the forest soundscape.

Breeding

Females construct nests from plant fibers, animal hair, and feathers, usually 1.2 to 4.2 meters above ground. They lay two white eggs, which are incubated for 15 days, followed by a 20-22 day nestling period.

Similar Species

This species can be confused with the Green-crowned Woodnymph and the Sapphire-throated Hummingbird. However, the Violet-bellied Hummingbird is smaller, has a green (not violet) back, and a rounded (not notched) tail.

Diet and Feeding

Violet-bellied Hummingbirds feed on nectar from various plant families and also consume small arthropods. Males may defend feeding territories, and while they do not form flocks, they may gather at abundant food sources.

Conservation status

The Violet-bellied Hummingbird is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List, indicating a stable population and wide distribution. They are tolerant of disturbed habitats such as forest edges.

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Violet-bellied Hummingbirds on Birda

Sightings

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A photo of a Speckled Hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys)

Speckled Hummingbird

Adelomyia melanogenys
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