Description: Glowing Puffleg (Eriocnemis vestita) is fairly a small hummingbird species in the family Trochilidae. This hummingbird has a short but deeply forked tail. This is mainly found in Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia.
Identification: This is medium size hummingbird, which is mostly bright green but with an iridescent violet vent, and chin patch, blue belly, blackish breast, and distinguish white eyes spot. The leg puffs are white. The female’s chin patch is much reduced, and she has extensive golden speckling on her breast and chin. Moreover, males and female have noticeable large white puffs at base of legs, much bigger than Buff-tailed Coronet’s white puffs.
Subspecies: – There are four subspecies: that is subsp. vestita; subsp. arcosae; subsp. paramillo, in which the violet of the chin extends patchily to the breast; and subsp. smaragdinipectus, which has a lighter green breast. This is a lively territorial bird that defends clumps of flowers such as Palicourea, and other flowers with short corollas. It usually feeds at low heights and is very quick and hence difficult to track. It may hover or cling when feeding and catches insects while in flight. Although it is rather localized and not especially common, its population is believed to be stable.
Distribution – Subsp. vestita occurs in northwest Venezuela and the eastern Andes in Colombia; subsp. arcosae ranges from south-central Ecuador to northwest Peru. Also, subsp. paramillo occurs in the west and the central Andes in Colombia; subsp. smaragdinipectus occurs in southwest Colombia and Ecuador
Habitat – Glowing Puffleg’s natural habitats are open subtropical or tropical moist montane forest edges, scrubland, grassland; and heavily degraded former forest. Mostly found at 7,400–12,600 ft (2,250–3,850 m.
Diet: – The Hummingbirds mainly feed on the nectar of small flowering trees, small spiders, insects, shrubs, herbs, and epiphytes.
Size and Length: – An average size of Glowing puffleg is about 9.5 to 11 cm (31⁄2–37⁄8 in) from black bill till blue forked tail.
Call/Song/Sounds/Vocalizations: – Similar to other hummingbirds, Glowing Puffleg’s are usually silent, but quite often their sounds (usually call after taking flight) is described as a monotonous frequent metallic “tsip tsip tsip”.
Nest: Male does not participate in building the nest or even selecting the site or raising the chicks. Normally, females build a cup-shaped nest with plant fibers woven, animal hairs, surrounding camouflage in a safe place at shrub, tree, or bushes. The hummingbird nest is mainly found on a low, thin horizontal branch.
Breeding: Usually, the clutch contains two white eggs, incubate by a female, while the male is protecting the territory and the flowers feed on. The chicks are immobile and born blind. The mother pushes the food down with her long bill into the chicks’ throats and their stomachs. Habitually, chicks are feed on for two weeks approximately, then he flies out within 20 days.
Weight: – The bird average weight is about 4.3–5.3 g
Status – The population is stable and consider the least concern.
English: Glowing Puffleg
Russian: Бронзовый эрион
Turkish: Parıldayan pufayak
Spanish: Calzadito Reluciente
French: Érione pattue
Italian: Colibrì zampepiumose smagliante
Dutch: Groen Pluimbroekje
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