Crimson Topaz (Topaza pella)
Male Crimson Topaz, Presidente Figueiredo, Amazonas, Brazil, July 2001 - click for larger image Igarapé das Lajes, Presidente Figueiredo, Amazonas, Brazil
July 2001

My photo does not do justice to this absolutely stunning hummingbird, the largest to be found in Brazil and second only to the Giant Hummingbird (Patagona gigas) of the Andes.

It is found in Amazonian Brazil to just south of the Amazon river, in southern Venezuela and the Guianas. It prefers gallery forest and is usually found near the canopy which makes it difficult to see normally.

The male has long tail feathers which cross halfway down, a golden-yellow throat patch and metallic red belly. It could only be confused with the Fiery Topaz (Topaza pyra) found further to the west and sometimes included as a subspecies of Crimson Topaz.

There are illustrations in HBW, Volume 5, Pages 481 and 562; and Sick, Plate 20.

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