This hermit species is sometimes split, with all populations except those in Trinidad, the east of Venezuela, the Guianasand northeast corner of Brazil as the Stripe-throated Hermit, Phaethornis striigularis (Gould, 1854).
This small bird inhabits shady undergrowth in moist forest. It resembles the Green Hermit, but is much smaller. It is 8.4 cm long and weighs 3 g. The bill is long and decurved, with a black upper mandible and black-tipped yellow lower mandible.
The Little Hermit is mainly bronze-green above with a pale rufous rump. It has a dark mask through the eye, with buff stripes above and below this. The underparts are rich rufous. The central feathers of the tapered tail are long and white-tipped, and are used in display at the communal leks. Sexes are similar.
Stripe-throated Hermit is duller beneath, and the throat is spotted dusky in P. s. striigularis or pale in P. s. ignobilis.
The Little Hermit lays two eggs in a conical nest suspended under a large leaf, usually over water. Incubation is 16 days, and fledging another 21 days.
The food of this species is nectar, taken from a wide variety of flowers, and some small insects. The call of this hummingbird is a light sqeak, and the Little Hermit display song is a eee-wee-tiddly-weet. Stripe-throated transcribes aschup-sit-sik although there are many local dialects of both these hummingbirds’ songs.
Conservation status:Least concern
BirdLife International (2004). Phaethornis longuemareus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
Birds of Venezuela by Hilty, ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
Birds of Trinidad and Tobago by ffrench, ISBN 0-7136-6759-1
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