Marvelous Spatuletail Male cm (including tail cm), female cm ( tail cm); c. 3 g. Male has slightly decurved black bill; crest blue, hindneck. Criteria: A3c;B1ab(v);C2a(ii) Click here for more information about the Red List categories and criteria. Justification of Red List category. There are recent. Learn more about the Marvellous spatuletail – with amazing Marvellous spatuletail photos and facts on Arkive.
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Mystery bird: marvellous spatuletail, Loddigesia mirabilis | Science |
The marvellous spatuletail Loddigesia mirabilis is a rare, medium-sized hummingbird, and like most hummingbirds its colourful plumage and miniscule size make it an engaging little creature. The male marvellous spatuletail is beautifully decorated, with a deep blue crest on its head, a turquoise patch on its throat, and a deep black line down its breast and belly.
The rest of the underparts are white, with green on the flanks, while the upperparts of the body are a shimmering green-bronze or bronzy-brown colour 2 4. One of the most nirabilis features of the marvellous spatuletail is the long, spectacular tail of the male, which loddigessia made up of only four feathers. The female marvellous spatuletail is patterned similarly to the male, but has a bronzy-green rather than blue head, a white throat, and lacks the black line on the breast and belly, which are both buffy-white.
Females murabilis immature males of this species have a much shorter tail than the adult male, although the outer tail feathers still mirabillis broad drop-shaped tips 2 4 6.
The marvellous spatuletail is the only member of its genusLoddigesia 4 7. The marvellous spatuletail feeds on nectar, with its preferred food plant being the red-flowered lily, Bomarea formosissimaalthough it has also been recorded feeding from at least five other species of flowering plant 2. The spatuletails only pay fleeting visits to flowers as they are often displaced by other, more dominant hummingbirds with which they share their habitat, including the green violet-ear Colibri thalassinus and sparkling violet-ear Colibri coruscans 7.
The marvellous spatuletail is solitary for most of the year, and moves around constantly throughout the day, flying through dense thickets faster and with greater manoeuvrability than other hummingbirds 7. The breeding season of this small hummingbird occurs from late October to early May 2 7which coincides with the rainy season 7. This involves the male displaying his strength by hovering in front of the female, holding his tail feathers up next to his body and waving the spatules around 4 5.
This requires a lot of energy, and the male is often only able to display for very short periods of time 5. The mating system of the marvellous spatuletail is polygamouswhich means the male will mate with several different females. It is then up to the female marvellous spatuletail to build a nest and raise the chicks. Usually, the female will lay two tiny white eggs, which hatch between two and three weeks after being laid 9. The marvellous spatuletail has a very small range, being endemic to the mountains of north-western Peru.
This small hummingbird inhabits forest edges, secondary growth and montane scrub. Within this scrub there are often dense, thorny pockets of vegetation, including Alnus trees and Rubus thickets 2 7 8. The marvellous spatuletail is nearly always found in the Rubus thickets, especially when they are near the edge of forest 7. The elevations that the marvellous spatuletail has been found at vary, but have always been greater than 1, metres. The usual elevations that this species can be found at are between 2, and 2, metres 7.
A major threat to the marvellous spatuletail, and to many other species in South America and elsewhere, is deforestation. However, scientists believe that the marvellous spatuletail may be protected somewhat from deforestation as it lives on the edge of forests and in isolated habitats on steep slopes 2 7. This may account for the skewed sex ratio in this species, as adult males are often killed with slingshots and so are greatly outnumbered by females and immature males 2 7.
In order to conserve this beautiful species of hummingbird, as well as other wildlife endemic to the region, the Huembo Visitor Centre was set up in Pomacochas, in the Utcubamba Valley of Peru 2 At the Centre, the marvellous spatuletails can be seen at the hummingbird feeding stations year-round The marvellous spatuletail is also listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species CITESmeaning that international trade in this species should be carefully monitored and should not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild 3.
Several organisations are now working to conserve the marvellous spatuletail, through education, surveys, and fundraising to acquire land for protection 2. Further recommended measures for the marvellous spatuletail include more surveys to assess the size of its population, the extent of its distribution and its habitat needs 2 7.
The remaining forests in the region also need protection, and initiatives need to be developed to reduce hunting of this stunning small bird 2. This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible.
A male adult flying.
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The marvellous spatuletail is a rare hummingbird found in just a few small areas of north-western Peru.
The male marvellous spatuletail displays to a female by lodidgesia in front of her, waving his tail feathers. The courtship display of the male marvellous spatuletail is so energetically demanding that it can only be performed for very short periods.
Image credit Link to this image Add to scrapbook How you can use this image. Marvellous spatuletail fact file Description Biology Range Habitat Status Threats Conservation Find out more Glossary References Print factsheet Marvellous spatuletail description Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Aves Order Apodiformes Family Trochilidae Genus Loddigesia 1 The marvellous spatuletail Loddigesia mirabilis is a rare, medium-sized hummingbird, and like most hummingbirds its colourful plumage and miniscule size make it an engaging little creature.
Also known as marvelous spatuletail. Little woodstar Chaetocercus bombus. Esmeraldas woodstar Chaetocercus berlepschi. White-tailed hummingbird Eupherusa poliocerca.
Marvellous spatuletail biology The marvellous spatuletail feeds on nectar, with its preferred food plant being the red-flowered lily, Bomarea formosissimaalthough it has also been recorded feeding from at least five other species of flowering plant 2. Marvellous spatuletail range The marvellous spatuletail has a very small range, being endemic to the mountains of north-western Peru. American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus. Albacore tuna Thunnus alalunga. Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus.
Marvellous spatuletail habitat This small hummingbird inhabits forest edges, secondary growth and montane scrub. Ethiopian short-headed frog Balebreviceps hillmani. Plain-tailed warbling-finch Poospiza alticola. Marvellous spatuletail threats A major threat to the marvellous spatuletail, and to many other species in South America and elsewhere, is deforestation.
Marvellous spatuletail conservation In order to conserve this beautiful species of hummingbird, as well as other wildlife endemic to the region, the Huembo Visitor Centre was set up in Pomacochas, in the Utcubamba Valley of Peru 2 Find out more Find out more about the marvellous spatuletail and its conservation: BirdLife International – Marvellous spatuletail: Conservation International – Peru: Authentication This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible.
This species information was authored as part of the Arkive and Universities Scheme. Glossary Endemic A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. Lekking A mating system in which males display collectively in an area known as a lek, to attract and compete for females.
Montane Of mountains, or growing in mountains. Polygamous Mating with more than one partner in the same season. Secondary growth Vegetation that has re-grown after a major disturbance, such as fire or clearance. The Auk3: BirdLife International Marvellous spatuletail Loddigesia mirabilis. Threatened Birds of the Americas. Bird Conservation International7: American Bird Conservancy – Huembo March, http: X Close Image credit.
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