Amazilia saucerrotteisteely-vented hummingbird

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Geographic Range

The Steely-Vented Hummingbird, Amazilia saucerrottei, has a range from western Nicaragua to Costa Rica, Columbia and northwest Venezuela. It is a common resident of the north half of the Pacific slope and extends east to the Rio Frio region on the Caribbean slope in Costa Rica (Stiles and Skutch, 1989).

Habitat

A. saucerrottei prefers secondary growth and scrubby savanna with scattered trees, coffee plantations, and gardens. It is found regularly at openings and edges of evergreen gallery forest, especially during the dry season. It resides in lowlands and up mountain slopes to about 1800 meters (Stiles and Skutch, 1989).

  • Range elevation
    1800 (high) m
    5905.51 (high) ft

Physical Description

A. saucerrottei is 9 cm long and weighs 4.5 grams. It is all green with a bronzy rump and notched steel blue-black tail. The male has shading to bronze on wing-coverts and lower back, a purplish-bronze rump and upper tail-coverts, and the tail is dark steel blue to blue black. The bottom of the bird is entirely dark metallic green, with white thigh-tufts and a blue crissum (Stiles, 1989). The female's lower breast and belly is a duller green. The crissum feathers are edged with gray and the outer rectrices are purplish at the tips. The upper mandible is black and the lower a rose pink with black tip. The lower mandible is dusky with a reddish tip (Ridgely, 1989). The feet are black. The juvenile's underside is a dull, dark bronze-green (Stiles and Skutch, 1989).

  • Average mass
    4.5 g
    0.16 oz
  • Average length
    9 cm
    3.54 in

Reproduction

A. saucerrottei builds a cup nest of compact pale-colored plants, down, and cobwebs, which is usually heavily decorated on the outside with lichens. The nest is usually placed on an outer twig of a small tree 2 to 7 meters above the ground (Stiles and Skutch, 1989).

  • Range eggs per season
    1 to 2

Lifespan/Longevity

No information, probably similar to other hummingbirds.

Behavior

A. saucerrottei are aggressive medium sized hummingbirds (Tiebout, 1992). Both sexes are aggressive and often territorial at flowers (Stiles and Skutch, 1989). The bird is very territorial and often changes its aggressiveness throughout the day. It is more defensive during the morning and becomes slightly less aggressive in the afternoon (Tiebout, 1992).

Communication and Perception

Food Habits

A. saucerrottei visits many kinds of flowers for nectar. It likes the flowers of trees (Inga, Pithecellobium, Tabebuia, Genipa), shrubs (Hamelia, Stachytarpheta), vines, epiphytes and herbs (Lobelia). Both sexes are aggressive at flowers (Stiles and Skutch, 1989).Probably also consumes insects like other hummingbirds, but no specific information available.

  • Plant Foods
  • nectar

Predation

These hummingbirds are probably subject to common nest predators such as snakes.

Ecosystem Roles

It is not known for this species in particular, but like other hummingbirds, they probably pollinate the flowers they visit while drinking nectar.

  • Ecosystem Impact
  • pollinates

Conservation Status

Contributors

Michael Vince (author), University of Arizona, Todd McWhorter (editor), University of Arizona.

Glossary

acoustic

uses sound to communicate

agricultural

living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

chemical

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

endothermic

animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

fertilization

union of egg and spermatozoan

forest

forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.

herbivore

An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.

internal fertilization

fertilization takes place within the female's body

iteroparous

offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

nectarivore

an animal that mainly eats nectar from flowers

oviparous

reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.

sedentary

remains in the same area

sexual

reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

tactile

uses touch to communicate

terrestrial

Living on the ground.

territorial

defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement

tropical

the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.

urban

living in cities and large towns, landscapes dominated by human structures and activity.

visual

uses sight to communicate

References

Ridgely, R., J. Gwynne. 1989. A Guide to the Birds of Panama. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Stiles, F., A. Skutch. 1989. A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica. Ithaca, New York: Comstock Publishing Associates.

Tiebout, H. 1992. Comparative energetics of divergent foraging modes: a doubly labelled water experiment on hummingbird competition. Animal Behaviour, 44: 895-906.