Band-tailed Barbthroat hummingbird


The Band-tailed Barbthroat hummingbird (Threnetes ruckeri) is a medium-sized hummingbird which is a resident breeder from southeastern Guatemala to western Ecuador and western Venezuela.

Picture of a Band-tailed Barbthroat hummingbird

Band-tailed Barbthroat hummingbird

Another Band-tailed Barbthroat hummingbird

Band-tailed Barbthroat hummingbird / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


This hermit species inhabits the under story of wet forests, woodland edges and old second growth. It occurs in the lowlands, typically up to an elevation of 800 m, although young birds may wander higher.

The nest is a cup of plant fibers attached 2-4 m high on the underside of a Heliconia or sometimes a banana leaf. The female alone incubates the two white eggs.

The Band-tailed Barbthroat hummingbird is 10.2-11 cm long and weighs 5-5.8 g. it has a long decurved bill, and, as with other hermit hummingbirds, the sexes are similar. The adult has bronze-green upperparts, a dark ear patch and dusky malar stripe. The chest is rusty-orange and the under parts are otherwise grey. Young birds resemble the adult, but have buff feather tips.

The southern subspecies T. r. venezuelensis is somewhat duller on the breast than the nominate northern race.

The Band-tailed Barbthroat hummingbird has a high thin tseep call, and the male’s song, given alone or at a lek, is a didiDIT dew dew in the Caribbean lowlands, but on the Pacific side the song is longer and includes trills and warbles.

Like other hermits, this Band-tailed Barbthroat hummingbird visits widely separated flowers including Heliconia, Costus spiral gingers, and bananas, and the male is less aggressively territorial than other male hummingbirds.

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