Crimson Topaz Hummingbirds inhabit lowland rainforests up to 500 m in elevation, with a preference for the canopy and forest edges. They are found near blackwater streams and clear-water rivers because this is where they typically nest during breeding season (July to November) (Davis and Olmstead, 2010; Schuchmann et. al, 2015). (Davis and Olmstead, 2010; Schuchmann, et al., 2015)
T. p. pella, T. p. smaragdula, and T. p. microrhyncha can be distinguished based on differences in weight, throat coloration, and beak size, with T. p. microrhyncha being the smallest subspecies (Hu et. al, 2000).is a larger species of hummingbird, which is distinguishable from others by their large feet. Like most hummingbirds, they can be recognized by their bright coloration. Male Crimson Topaz Hummingbirds have a long black beak with grey feet. The plumage of males goes from a shiny black on their heads to a shiny red on their backs, eventually becoming a bright gold near their long, black tail feathers (Schuchmann et. al, 2015). Females, on the other hand, have yellow feet with dark green coloration on the back and yellow-green and crimson-green coloration on the underside. There is little seasonal or geographic variation in color of (Schmitz-Ornez and Schuchmann, 2011). Young Crimson Topaz Hummingbirds have similar coloration to females, with loose grey feathers on their undersides and less intense body colors overall. Young males do not have the same shine in their black head feathers as mature males have. Subspecies
Males have a body length of between 21 and 23 centimeters, weighing between 11 and 18 grams. Females have a body length of between 13 and 14 centimeters, weighing between 9 and 12.5 grams (Schuchmann et. al, 2015). (Hu, et al., 2000; Schmitz-Ornes and Schuchmann, 2011; Schuchmann, et al., 2015)
Crimson Topaz Hummingbirds build their mating routine around bright, shiny plumage. Males compete for the attention of females by quickly flying around the air in a zig-zag pattern, followed by a direct dive towards the female to capture her attention (Franca et. al, 2020). Once close to females, males ruffle the feathers of their underbellies, making them change colors and shimmer. Females select mates based on the best display of feathers and flight patterns (Franca et. al, 2020). (Franca, et al., 2020)
The nests of Crimson Topaz Hummingbirds are shallow, bowl-like structures made of Bombax (Bombax ceiba) seeds and cobwebs, suspended on branches between 40 and 50 cm above the surface of streams in their tropical forest habitat (Hu et. al, 2000). The entirety of the nests’ weight rests on the branch of the tree, and the nest is made structurally sound by the Bombax seeds. Crimson Topaz Hummingbird pairs typically breed once per year between the months of July and November, with no migratory behavior involved. Commonly, each nest contains two white eggs (Franca et. al, 2020). The eggs incubate in the nest for 21 to 23 days before hatching. After hatching, the chicks develop muscles and gain strength slowly for three weeks before developing feathers that allow them to fly. The young hummingbirds leave their nests and mothers promptly after fledging. At two years old, a Crimson Topaz Hummingbird is sexually mature and capable of breeding (Simon and Pacheco, 2005; Schuchmann et. al, 2015). (Franca, et al., 2020; Hu, et al., 2000; Schuchmann, et al., 2015; Simon and Pacheco, 2005)
Before hatching, the eggs are incubated exclusively by their mother. A freshly hatched Crimson Topaz Hummingbird is fed exclusively by its mother. All nest maintenance is performed by the mother (Franca et. al, 2020). (Franca, et al., 2020)
No information could be found on the lifespan or longevity of Florisuginae, including all other hummingbird species, the average lifespan is 3-5 years (Schuchmann et. al, 2015). (Schuchmann, et al., 2015). However, for other species of birds in the family
Crimson Topaz Hummingbirds communicate through very inconsistent patterns of high-pitched chip-like calls from their perches in the canopy level of the tropical forests they live in. In their habitat, the calls can be heard continuously throughout the day. Vocal calls are paired with ruffling of feathers to defend feeding territory (Franca et. al, 2020; Hu et. al, 2000).
When mating, the birds rely more on flight patterns (e.g., zigzag) and bright plumage to attract mates, rather than their distinct vocal communication, which can be heard at any time of year (Schuchmann et. al, 2015). (Franca, et al., 2020; Hu, et al., 2000; Schuchmann, et al., 2015)
Outside of the breeding season, Crimson Topaz Hummingbirds are herbivorous and feed on nectar from flowers found on trees, shrubs and vines. Typically, they feed off of flowers of the Bromeliaceae and Ericaceae groups because these contain higher sugar content (Johnson, 2020). Crimson Topaz Hummingbirds are also more likely to protect these flowers if they are in their feeding habitats (Johnson, 2020).
During the breeding season (and rarely, outside of the breeding season), Crimson Topaz Hummingbirds are omnivorous, adding spiders and insects to their diets. Insects supply the birds with a consistent source of protein, which is very important during breeding season when chicks are rapidly developing (Johnson, 2020). (Johnson, 2020)
Crimson Topaz Hummingbirds primarily feed on the nectar of flowers from the Bromeliaceae and Ericaceae groups. Like other nectarivores, they transfer pollen between the flowers, making them essential pollinators in their ecosystems (Johnson, 2020). Because they eat almost exclusively nectar, Crimson Topaz Hummingbirds are essential and effective pollinators (Johnson, 2020). (Johnson, 2020)
Madeleine Boyles (author), Colorado State University, Nathan Dorff (editor), Colorado State University, Tanya Dewey (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
uses sound to communicate
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
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.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
humans benefit economically by promoting tourism that focuses on the appreciation of natural areas or animals. Ecotourism implies that there are existing programs that profit from the appreciation of natural areas or animals.
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.
parental care is carried out by females
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
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).
Having one mate at a time.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
an animal that mainly eats nectar from flowers
an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
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
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
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Franca, P., W. Santos, C. Costa-Campos, E. Lopes. 2020. Nestling development and data on nests and eggs of Topaza pella (Aves, Trochilidae) in Amapa state, northern Brazil. Acta Amazonica, 50(2): 138-141.
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Schuchmann, K., G. Kirwan, P. Boesman. 2015. "Crimson Topaz" (On-line). Cornell Lab of Ornithology Birds of the World. Accessed February 16, 2021 at https://birdsoftheworld.org/bow/species/critop1/cur/introduction.
Simon, J., S. Pacheco. 2005. On the standardization of nest descriptions of neotropical birds. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 13 (2): 143-154.
Stotz, D., S. Lanyon, T. Schulenberg, D. Willard, A. Peterson, J. Fitzpatrick. 1997. An Avifaunal Survey of Two Tropical Forest Localities on the Middle Rio Jiparana, Rondonia, Brazil. American Ornithological Society, 48: 763-781.
Tilford, T. 2009. The Complete Book of Hummingbirds. United States of America: Thunder Bay Press.