Tuesday, 18 November 2014

White-chested emerald

Amazilia brevirostris

Photo by Fayard Mohammed (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
white-chested emerald (en); beija-flor-de-bico-preto (pt); ariane à poitrine blanche (fr); diamante colidorado (es); kurzschnabelamazilie (de)

Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

This species is found from central and eastern Venezuela to the French Guyana and south into Roraima in extreme northern Brazil. Also in the Caribbean island of Trinidad.

These birds are 9-10 cm long and weigh 4,5 g.

The white-chested emerald is mostly found in moist tropical forests, including gallery forests, also using dry tropical forests and savannas, moist scrublands, second growths, arable land and plantations. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 500 m.

They feed mainly on the nectar from various tree and scrubs, including Erythrina, Samanea, Calliandra and Heliconia, but also take small insects.

White-chested emeralds breed in December-April. The female builds the nest alone, consisting of a small cup made of plant fibres and lichen, placed on an horizontal brancg 1-7 m above the ground. There she lays 2 eggs, which she incubates alone, but there is no information regarding the length of the incubation period. She raises the chicks alone and they fledge about 20 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as fairly common. They are suspected to lose 9% of suitable habitat within their range over the next decade, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation, so a small decline is expected in the near future.

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