Ruby Topaz

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Image:Ruby Topaz.JPG

Common Name: Ruby Topaz
Scientific Name: Chrysolampis mosquitus

Size: 3.2 inches (8.1 cm)

Habitat: South America; breeds in the Lesser Antilles and tropical northern South America from Colombia, Venezuela and the Guyanas, south to central Brazil and northern Bolivia; also from Colombia into southern Panama. It is a seasonal migrant.

This hummingbird inhabits open country, gardens and cultivation.

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

Diet: Flower nectar, also some insects.

Breeding: The male has green-glossed dark brown upper parts. The crown and nape are glossy red, and the throat and breast are brilliant golden-orange. The rest of the under-parts are brown, and the chestnut tail is tipped black. The male often looks very dark, until he turns and the brilliant colors flash in the sunlight.

The female Ruby-topaz Hummingbird has bronze-green upper parts and pale grey under parts. The tail is chestnut with a dark subterminal band and a white tip. Females from Trinidad typically have a greenish throat-streak (it may appear dark), but this is not common elsewhere in its range. Juvenile females are similar to adult females, but with a white-tipped dusky-brown tail. Juvenile males resemble the juvenile female, but with a variable amount of iridescent orange to the throat.

The female Ruby-topaz Hummingbird lays two eggs in a tiny cup nest in the fork of a low branch. Incubation takes 16 days, and fledging another 18 or 19.

Cool Facts: It is the only member of the genus Chrysolampis. Compared to most other hummingbirds, the almost straight, black bill is relatively short.

Found in Songbird ReMix Hummingbirds of South America

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