Thursday, 20 June 2013

Empress brilliant

Heliodoxa imperatrix

Photo by Rafael Merchante (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
empress brilliant (en); brilhante-imperatriz (pt); brillant impératrice (fr); brillante emperatriz (es); rotstern-brilliantkolibri (de)

Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

This species is found along the western slopes of the Andes in Colombia and northern Ecuador.

The males are 16 cm long while the females are 13 cm long. They weigh 8-9 g.

The empress brilliant is mostly found in tropical moist forests, especially in cloud forests and along forest edges, but also in second growth and degraded patches of former forests, at altitude of 400-2.000 m.

They feed mostly on nectar, but also take some small arthropods.

Empress brilliants breed in February-July. They nest in a simple cup made of fern scales and moss heavily wrapped in spider webs. The nest is paced on a tree branch or sometimes on human structures. The female lays 2 white eggs. The is no information regarding the incubation period, but the chicks fledge 22-25 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively large breeding range and is described as fairly common. There is no information regarding population trends or threats.

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