Horned Sungem

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Image:HornedSungem.JPG

Common Name: Horned Sungem
Scientific Name: Heliactin bilophus

Size: 3.5-4.2 inches (9-11 cm)

Habitat: South America; found in central and eastern Brazil and adjoining Bolivia with a disjunct population in south Surinam and north Brazil. Migratory in Central and East Brazil; sedentary elsewhere. Arrives March-May on breeding grounds, coinciding with flowering season.

It prefers fairly dry open or semi-open habitats, such as savanna and Cerrado. It avoids dense humid forest.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: Unknown amount of mature individuals. The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon'.

Diet: Flower nectar from bushes and trees as well as small insects.

Breeding: Males are easily identified by their long tail, bright blue cap, black chin, white chest and small iridescent “horns” of feathers above and behind the eyes. Females are similar to eyes but have white throats and lack the blue crown and horns.

Nest is a small cup made of soft plant material and cobweb; usually in a fork of a small bush 1 meter above ground. Clutch size is 2 eggs incubated for about 13 days by female only. Young fledge after 20-23 days, first brood is laid in second adult year.

Cool Facts: It can achieve 90 wingbeats per second when it's hovering to drink nectar from flowers. A wingbeat is one complete up-and-down movement, which means that the Horned Sungem moves its wing muscles at a rate of more than 10,000 times per minute.


Found in Songbird ReMix Freebies

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