A Shinning Emerald With A Sapphire Like Tail And Wings Glittering In Sunlight As They Move At Impossible Speeds!
A shining glittering emerald with a sapphire-like tile whose wings move at an impossible 10 to 80 beats per second!
Meet the Western Emerald
The western emerald (Chlorostilbon melanorhynchus), measuring between 10.9 and 11.4 cm (4.3 to 4.5 in) in length, is a small bird weighing approximately 2.6 g (0.092 oz). Both male and female individuals of both subspecies share a short black bill. The male of the nominate subspecies displays an iridescent green forehead and crown with highlights of gold. Its face is bright green, and its upperparts shine in a bronzy green color. The tail is steel blue. The underparts of the male are adorned in glittering emerald green, exhibiting greater iridescence and a hint of blue on the breast. It possesses white thigh tufts.
On the other hand, the female of the nominate subspecies features a bronzy green forehead and crown, and a blackish face with a pale gray spot behind the eye. Its upperparts display a metallic grass green hue, while the tail is blue-black with white tips.
The female’s underparts are pale gray to white, with a buffy tone on the throat and belly.
Found in the western and northwestern regions of South America, this bird inhabits tropical to temperate zones, typically between elevations of 1000m and 2600m. It shows a preference for savannas, cultivated areas, and plantations.
In terms of feeding habits, this species primarily consumes nectar and small insects. It feeds on the nectar of flowers, particularly favoring red or orange tubular flowers like bouvardia or desert honeysuckle. It will also consume sugar-water mixes as substitutes for nectar. Additionally, it includes many small insects and spiders in its diet.
The bird exhibits specific behaviors during feeding, such as hovering and inserting its bill and long tongue into flowers to extract nectar. It may also hover and perch at hummingbird feeders. When hunting for insects, it flies from perches to catch prey in mid-air or from foliage. It even takes small spiders from spider webs.
When it comes to reproduction, this bird constructs its nest approximately 12 meters above the ground. The nest is a small cup lined with downy plant materials. Incubation lasts around 13 to 14 days, and the typical clutch size consists of two eggs. The young fledge after approximately three weeks.
In terms of conservation status, this species boasts a large range and does not meet the criteria for being classified as Vulnerable. Although population trends are not well-known, the bird’s numbers are not believed to be declining significantly. While the population size has not been quantified, it does not meet the thresholds for Vulnerable status either. Therefore, the species is currently evaluated as Least Concern.