A Chestnut-bellied hummingbird is found in the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Aves, Order Apodiformes, Family Trochilidae, Genes Amazilia. This giving them the binomial name Amazilia castaneiventris. The family Trochilidae being one of the largest families of the New World consisting of more than 300 species of Hummingbirds. This family is unique because of their flight and the ability to enter hypothermic torpor to conserve their energy at night. This means that at night they decrease their physiological activity by reducing their body temperature and metabolic rate. This is a state very close to hibernation, if you were to catch one of the hummingbirds in this state they would look as if they were dead.
In this family there is two subspecies the Trochilinae which is the hummingbirds and the Phaethornithinae which are the hermits. Hummingbirds as a family are small with long thin bills that vary in shape which is determined by what they eat. A hummingbird has short legs and they are unable to walk or hop on the group.
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They can hover because of their wings. They can fly/hover both forwards and backwards when feeding on nectar in the flowers. Their wingbeat range is 70 to 80 per seconds in the smallest of the family and 10 to 15 in the Giant hummingbird. According to the temperature the wingbeat frequency changes to conserve the most amount of energy as possible.
Humming birds have beautiful glossy plumage that they use in several situations like during courtship, territorial defence and threat behaviour. The displays are also used with a range of vocal sounds and sounds from the rapid wings beats. In this Family the males are polygamous, and they do not take part in nesting duties. Chestnut-bellied hummingbirds are beautiful little birds. They are small birds that stand out in their appearance. They contain a variety of colors on their bodies which makes them so beautiful. The underneath and tail of the bird are a reddish brown, the rump is gray and the throat and chest are green in a way that the feathers look like sequence.
The bill of the hummingbird is medium in size and black, and the lower mandible is a light pinkish-orange. The difference between male and female is the female is duller and her belly is paler and barring upper throat feathers. The young one lack the bright colouration.
This type of hummingbird is confused a lot with the Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl). The only thing that separates them is the dull gray rear underpart of the Rufous-tailed Hummingbird. DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT/FEEDING Chestnut-bellied hummingbird is only found in Colombia in the north central region. It likes to live in tropical moist environments of the rainforest or tropical high altitude shrublands. This bird is threatened/endangered because of habitat loss. Over the recent decades this species has been largely unrecorded.
Its exact distribution is unclear but has been seen around 15 locations through Bolivia, Santander and Bojoca. Where is has been seen is it appears the hummingbird is restricted to the dryer parts of Colombia like the Magdalena Valley. Other places the bird has been spotted is in the Chicamocha, Suarez, Chucuri valleys, and Rio Chucuri. The population of these birds is approximately 3,800 individuals. The best place to find a Chestnut-bellied humming bird is near water, like a river or stream that runs through a forest. Although us humans are taking away their habitats by decreasing the rainforests, the birds have adapted to decreased living conditions by relocating and adapting to new areas.
Since they are being forced into relocating to new areas they have been able to expand the ranges of food from the Amazonian plants and flowers to crops like cactus, bananas and coffee. The most common place to find this bird is a certain tree called the Nacedero Tree. The hummingbirds always tend to go back and visit that tree.
People that study these hummingbirds and watch them noticed that they seem to choose the new areas they are in now over their old environment. My guess would be because of the new variety of plants and flowers which means a new kind of food. Although they have expanded what they feed on they will mostly feed on nectar. This is the carbohydrate rich sugar found in plants which is flowers. A hummingbird will feed on anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 flowers a day. When doing so they are pollinating the flowers as well which will keep them fresh and alive and continue to reproduce into new flowers. This bird is thought to feed from a variety of species of flowers.
THREATS TO THEIR POPULATION The threats to a Chestnut-bellied hummingbird is the expansion of the economy. In 1996 was the gold rush and the profitable business of deforestation. The cutting down of the forest and replacement of crops for human resources.
The decrease in habitats and increase of pollution and migration of humans and the new industries. This has been a benefit for Colombia’s economy but been one of the biggest threats to the habitat of endangered birds. When the season comes to form breeding pairs, which is between August and December, a male will start to attract females to makes with using his courtship displays.
A male will mate with many females during this time in hopes of offspring. The courtship displays include songs, exposition of the iridescent plumage and flight displays. After the mating a female with choose the site to nest at. The nest will be placed in branches with leaves which attaches the nest or glued to rocky walls in the vegetation or fastened beneath a hanging leaf for shelter. They try to camouflage the nest with moss, bark and leaves.
To stick the nest together they use spider webs. A female during this time will lay two eggs and incubate them by herself. The incubation time is 14 to 19 days and the female will take care of the chicks alone. The chicks are almost naked and are blind. The mother will feed them regurgitated nectar with insects throughout the day which is usually twice every hour.
Seventeen days after hatching the chicks fledge which means they grow their feathers and can fly when ready. They will leave the nest, but the female will continue to feed them up to four more weeks. During this time, they learn to be on there own such as feeding themselves and finding food sources. These birds have no known breeding patterns, they are in the same location pretty much year-round. This type of bird is loved by humans which is why we put out hummingbird feeders. This is so we can admire them both for their beauty and their behaviour. I know for me as a child I loved to watch hummingbirds in our backyard and I always wondered if they ever landed and stopped their wings from going a million miles an hour which I know is exaggerated.
According to one source about the family, they said hummingbirds are a symbol of peace, love and happiness and are considered sacred birds for their unbelievable energy. Like all other species the Chestnut-bellied hummingbird is very beautiful and awesome to learn about. Although there is not much information about this species they are still very interesting and unique in their own way.