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 adding 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.
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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
Moist montane Forest edges, Tropical and subtropical, scrub, light woodland, gardens, plantations; 2,950–9,850 ft (900–3,000 m). The female attracts with male long glossy tail widely displayed during flight. The male performs U-shaped flight during their movement to attract the female, mates more than one mate, and separate them after copulation.
The female lays two white eggs, which she alone incubates for 14 to 16 days. However, the male uses the aerial display to defends the territory and provide nectar, spiders for proper nourishment of chick. The female broods them for one to two weeks. The chicks fledge the nest about 19 to 21 days after hatchling.
Needn’t observe, as, with many other hummingbirds, the Long-tailed Sylph call is high-pitched monosyllabic. The song is high chirps and whistles. However, for mating, short calls are given by both sexes.
Size and Length
Female average size and length is about 9.7-11.8 and Male is about 16-19 cm including the tail of 12 cm.
The domed-shaped nest is made with moss or fiber plants with a side entrance, beautify with twigs or branches, and camouflage with colorful leaves.
This hummingbird average weight is around 5–9 g
It has an average life span of 3 to 4 years in the wild.
This species is not threatening and currently, it is the least concern.
(German: Himmelssylphe), (Spanish: Silfo de King, Cometa verde, Cometa Verdiazul), (Italian: Silfide codalunga), (English: Blue-throated Sylph, Long-tailed Sylph), (Dutch: Langstaartnimf), (Ukrainian: Колібрі-сильф королівський), (Polish: komecik dlugosterny).