The Long-tailed sylph (Aglaiocercus kingii) is an imposing creation of God. It is a most widespread member of the genus Aglaiocercus. A lovely long tail adds beauty to a species of hummingbird in the family Trochilidae. This species is mainly found in South American countries, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru.
The long-tailed sylph gathers with other hummingbirds for plentiful diet sources such as the canopy of flowering trees, often hovers and cling to flowers. Sometimes visit small shrubs and often seen at high elevation grasslands.
The male of this beautiful hummingbird has a greatly elongated tail, which may make up well over half the bird’s total length. The body plumage is shining green, with a blue throat patch in some forms (and a speckled white throat and orange belly in females). On the top of the head, the male has a glittering green crown & throat.
The tail may be green, violet-blue, or a combination of both depending on the subspecies (of which there are six), and the outermost feathers are gently upcurved in most forms. The female has a short tail, a tawny buff belly, white throat with speckled green.
Read More – Gibberbird
Long-tailed Sylph mainly relies on feeds on nectar, spiders, insects caught in flight or perch, and high sugar flowers. This hummingbird can lick the nectar up to 14 times per second. This short-billed species visits short-flowered canopy species like Inga and sometimes steals nectar by flower piercing.
It trapline or defend a territory where suitable flowers are clustered. A female can capture more than 2,000 insects in a day. Also, they visit other hummingbirds’ feeders for some sugar or water.
Males have been observed displaying ritualized nest-building behavior, though as with other hummingbirds the nest proper is made by the female alone, which may roost in the domed structure year-round. The species is an altitudinal migrant, and while it is common over much of its range, it is declining.
Moreover, female hummingbirds do not possess long tail feathers, that nature has blessed her to make eggs laying and incubating eggs easier. However, the male long tail is hinder his flight when relies on his flying skills. The female prefers to mate with a fit and healthy male to breed and live well, even in carrying a heavy load.
Subspecies and Ranges:
Subsp. Long-tailed sylph “kingie” is found in the eastern Andes of Colombia.
Subsp. margarethae occurs in north-central and coastal Venezuela.
Subsp. caudatus occurs in west Venezuela and northern Colombia.
Subsp. emmae occurs in the central Andes of north Colombia, the western Andes of south Colombia, and northwest Ecuador.
Subsp. mocoa occurs in the central Andes of southern Colombia, Ecuador, and north Peru.
Subsp. smaragdinus occurs in the eastern Andes of Peru and west-central Bolivia