Friday, August 3, 2012

Green Violetear

Colibri thalassinus
Violetears are Hummingbirds that belong to the Colibri genus. All are found in South and Central America, occupying different ranges and altitudes. All are named for the bright violet color patches that run backwards from their eyes.

The Green Violetear is one of those species, and is named for their vibrant metallic green feathers. Males and females look mostly alike, and the only sexual dimorphism comes in the violet patch size (larger in males).

You can find this particular species in the highlands and cloud forests of Central and South America, and they are sometimes even found in the Southern United States. They are rarely seen at altitudes of less than 1,600ft (500m) and are usually found at the 4,000-7,500ft range (1,200-2,300m). Green Violetears are solitary birds, though groups will sometimes gather at a specific feeding tree, sipping on nectar (they eat small insects as well).

When it comes to their reproductive habits, all that we know comes from a few observations. Females will approach a group of males, and they will chase her. Once one male catches her, the rest give up. The couple will fly side by side for some time, before descending to the ground and mating. Males then have no further involvement in the process. Females build their nests, lay their eggs, and incubate the eggs on their own. The two chicks hatch after 17 days, and fledge at around 4 weeks.

Green Violetears are listed as being of Least Concern, and there are no current conservation programs overseeing their management.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Central and South America
Size : Length around 12cm
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Apodiformes
Family : Trochilidae -- Genus : Colibri -- Species : C. thalassinus

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