Black Inca

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Image:Black Inca.JPG

Common Name: Black Inca
Scientific Name: Coeligena prunellei

Size: 4.5 inches (11 cm)

Habitat: South America; endemic to Colombia where it occurs on the west slope of the East Andes (Santander, Boyacá, Cundinamarca) and on both the western and eastern slopes of Serranía de los Yariguíes.

This is principally a species found in mature humid montane forests, especially areas with a predominance of oak (Quercus humboldti and Trigonobalanus excelsa). Sometimes found in open parkland and riverine gallery forest but they rely on the persistence of mature oak forests.

Status: Vulnerable. Global Population: 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. The upper Magdalena valley and the Sagamosa drainage have been undergoing habitat loss, fragmentation and alteration since the 17th century. The primary causes are human settlement and urbanization, with associated logging and agricultural land-use including coffee and, to a lesser extent, plantain and sugarcane plantations and pastures. As a result, tiny remnant forest patches are restricted to steep slopes and along streams, with the significant exception of Guanentá-Alto Río Fonce6. However, there are still extensive forests that are poorly known to ornithology in the Serranía de las Quinchas, west Boyacá. It is protected at Guanentá-Alto Río Fonce Fauna and Flora Sanctuary.

Diet: Flower nectar, small insects, and tree sap.

Breeding: Dark hummingbird with long, needle-like bill. Mainly black with conspicuous white patch on each side of chest and postocular spot. Glittering blue shoulders. Small greenish-blue throat patch. White-edged undertail-coverts. Black and forked tail. Long, slender, straight black bill. Rosy-red legs. Female slightly duller overall.

Nesting is done in a small cup made of plant down, bark and cobwebs. The female lays 2 elliptical white eggs, which will incubate for 15-18 days. This hummingbird nests all year round.

Cool Facts: It was formerly classified as Endangered by the IUCN. But new research has shown it to be not as rare as it was believed. Consequently, it is downlisted to Vulnerable in 2008.


Found in Songbird ReMix Hummingbirds of South America

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