Sparkling Violet-ear (colibri Coruscans): Species Accounts
Physical characteristics: Sparkling violet-ears are part of a genus (JEE-nus), group of animals with similar characteristics, of hummingbirds named for the bluish purple color of feathers near their ears. These large feathers are long and stiff. The sparkling violet-ear's upper body feathers are metallic green. Lower feathers are green, and the bird has a blue stomach. The tail is iridescent green with a blue band.
Male and female birds have similar coloring. Birds range in length from 5.1 to 5.5 inches (13 to 14 centimeters). This length includes the tail that is about 2.2 inches (6 centimeters) long. The hummingbird's black bill curves down and is approximately 1 inch (2.5 meters) long.
Male birds weigh 0.27 to 0.3 ounces (7.7 to 8.5 grams). Females weigh from 0.24 to 0.26 ounces (6.7 to 7.5 grams).
Geographic range: Sparkling violet-ears live in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela.
Habitat: Sparkling violet-ears live near coniferous or evergreen eucalyptus forests, gardens, and plains areas.
Diet: Sparkling violet-ears drink nectar. These birds will also catch and eat insects in flight.
Behavior and reproduction: Sparkling violet-ears are solitary and aggressive. Birds declare their territory by singing. The birds sing much of the day, and sub-groups develop their own calls.
Breeding seasons vary by region. Birds in Venezuela mate from July through October. Birds find mates at leks, areas where groups of males try to attract a female to mate. After mating, the male leaves. The female lays two eggs in a tiny, cup-shaped nest made of twigs and other plant material. Eggs hatch in seventeen to eighteen days. The young fledge in three weeks.
According to reports, male sparkling violet-ears were seen twice caring for their young. Normally, male hummingbirds have little to do with their young.
Sparkling violet-ears and people: People travel to Latin America to see and photograph sparkling violet-ears.
Conservation status: Sparkling violet-ears are not in danger of extinction. ∎
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