Monday, 3 December 2012

Fork-tailed woodnymph

Thalurania furcata

Photo by Bill Bouton (Wikipedia)

Common name:
fork-tailed woodnymph (en); beija-flor-tesoura-verde (pt); dryade à queue fourchue (fr); zafiro golondrina (es); schwalbennymphe (de)

Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

This South American species is found from central Venezuela and Colombia down to southern Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina. They are only found east of the Andes.

These birds are 9-10 cm long and weigh around 6 g.

The fork-tailed woodnymph is mostly found in tropical rainforests and swamp forests, but also in degraded parches of former forests, plantations and rural gardens. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.700 m.

They feed on both nectar and small insects, namely flies and ants.

Fork-tailed woodnymphs nest in a deep cup made of plant fibres and spider webs, attached to a fork or small branch in a tree about 2 m above the ground. There the female lays 2 white eggs, which she incubates for 14-18 days. The chicks fledge 18-24 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and is described as common. The fork-tailed woodnymph is expected to suffer a small to moderate decline in the near future, due to habitat loss and degradation, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation.

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