The great sapphirewing (Pterophanes cyanopterus) is a species of a large, broad-tailed hummingbird in the family Trochilidae.
Identification: This shimmering emerald species is named for the male’s shining blue wings. His plumage is otherwise glistening green. While the smaller female is greenish above with cinnamon underparts and has reduced blue iridescence in the wings and a light orange throat, breast, belly, and little upturned bill. Moreover, slower wingbeats are typical hummingbird blurs.
The great sapphirewing is found in South American countries of Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru. The spectacular species are territorial, but will join mixed-species flocks at times. Common in some areas, the species numbers appear stable. Great Sapphirewing is one of the largest species of hummingbird. However, they are fairly smaller than the Topaza hummingbirds and the giant hummingbird.
In-flight, it shows noticeably slow, somewhat bat-like wing beats. It often clings to flowers when feeding and catches insects in flight. It rests on high, exposed branches early in the morning. This species is also known as Temminck’s Sapphirewing, Paramo Sapphirewing, or simply Sapphirewing
Subspecies: There are three subspecies: subsp. cyanopterus; the bluer subsp. caeruleus; and the generally lighter-colored subsp. peruvianus.
Nest: The cup shape nest is built under sheltering vegetation, often suspended from tree roots. Normally, nests are made on a low, thin horizontal branch.
Breed: The incubation of the two eggs takes 16 to 18 days, and the female feeds the young in the nest for a further 26 to 29 days until they fledge. While a male job is to protect the territory and flowers feed on.
Distribution: Subsp. cyanopterus occurs in the eastern Andes of north-central Colombia. The subsp. caeruleus occurs in the central and extreme southwest Andes in Colombia. The subsp. peruvianus occurs in Ecuador, Peru, and northern Bolivia.
Habitat: Humid open cloud forest and elfin forest, forest edges, scrub, wet grassland; 8,550–12,150 ft (2,600–3,700 m).
Size Length: The average size length is about 61⁄4–77⁄8 in (16– 20 cm).
Weight: The average weight is around 9–11 g
Status: This species is in large number and does not approach the threshold for vulnerable, and it is considered the least concern. Also, population size has not been quantified.
Feed: This hummingbird mainly feeds on nectar taken from colorful tubular-shaped flowers, herbs, trees, small insects, spiders, shrubs, epiphytes and heavily relies on them for pollination.