|Amethyst Woodstar Calliphlox amethystina|
|Brazil and Peru
The Amethyst Woodstar is one of the smallest hummingbirds and is found in South America east of the Andes from Venezuela to northern Argentina. See the distribution map at Birdlife International.
It is found in a wide variety of habitats including gardens but excluding forest interiors.
|The male has a straight black bill, a noticeably forked tail and an amethyst throat with a white band across the
chest. The female has whitish underparts with green spots on the throat and a short tail as in photo 5.
At first glance the bird in the second photo looks like a female but the throat is a bit darker and the flanks are not so rufous as one would expect. When the bird turned to show its gorget in the third photo, there were a few iridescent amethyst discs showing which, I believe, means that it is an eclipse male. The fact that the photos were taken in July and the breeding season is November to April helps to underpin this conclusion.
|The Amethyst Woodstar is one of the most proficient fliers
in the hummingbird world being very small and with short wings. Its wing beats have been measured at 80 per second for the male and 70 per second for
the female which gives her a slightly lower humming note.
Its heart beat has also been measured - at 20 beats per second or 1,240 beats per minute!
|The generic name Calliphlox is derived from the Greek meaning beautiful blazing.|
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