Sword-billed Hummingbird

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Image:Sword-billed Hummingbird.JPG

Common Name: Sword-billed Hummingbird
Scientific Name: Ensifera ensifera

Size: 8.6-11.8 inches (22-30 cm); from base of the bill to the tail tip, this species is 14 cm (5.5 in) long, not counting the 8-16 cm bill.

Habitat: South America; found in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela

Status: Least concern. Global Population: Unknown amount of mature individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Diet: Flower nectar; also some insects.

Breeding: Male and females are similar; females, as do most hummingbirds, have less iridescent feathers on the throat and head.

Nests are tiny cups of foliage and green moss bound together with cobwebs. Two eggs will be deposited into these nests, which may be situated high or low, in a tree or shrub, and even dangling from an overhead support . Cool Facts: It is the sole member of the genus Ensifera and has the longest bill of any of the hummingbird species. Ensifera means “crossed swords”.

It is the only species of bird to have a bill as long as the rest of its body. This adaptation is to feed on flowers with long corollas such as Passiflora mixta.

Because of the length of the beak, this hummingbird has to groom itself with its feet. When the sword-billed hummingbird perches, it holds its beak almost vertical, thus reducing the strain on its neck.  

Found in Songbird ReMix Hummingbirds of South America

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