Meet The Rufous-Crested Coquette, A Tiny Hummingbird With a Spiky Rufous Crest

The Rufous-Crested Coquette,

The Rufous-Crested Coquette is one of the most stunning creatures inhabiting South American forests. Due to their tiny size and small population, they are a rare sight to admire, even within their native region. They are scientifically named “Lophornis Delattrei” and are birds of the family Trochilidae

These hummingbirds are native to the tropical slopes of Pacific South America. The males of this species have the most striking feature, which is rufous-colored spiked crests. Females have fewer bright colors as compared to males, but they can be identified by their small size and rufous colored foreheads. 

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The Rufos-Crested Coquettes are small birds with lengths around 6.4 to 7 cm and a wingspan of 4 to 4.5 cm. They have short and orange bills that end in a sharp blackened point. The color of their back and stomach is light iridescent green. There is a white feathered band on their body that crosses the rump, and brown, orange, and green tail feathers extend posteriorly from it.

Meet the adult male Rufous Crested Coquettes.

The Rufous-Crested Coquette, A Tiny Hummingbird

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The adult male birds have a crest of slender and rigid black-tipped rufous feathers. They have dark iridescent green feathered throat which ends posteriorly in sharply pointed feathers.

 

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Female birds share a similar physiology to the males, with very few differences. 

They display no head crests, and their rufous colored forehead feathers fade into the iridescent green ones which extend down their backs. Instead of fully green throats, they have primarily white feathers with small clusters of green feathers. 

The Rufous-Crested Coquette females

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How do they get their food?

The Rufous-Crested Coquettes primarily forage in thinly dispersed forested regions for flowering plant species.

Mainly, they feed on the nectar of flowering plants present in a humid evergreen forest ecosystem, forest opening, favoring clearings, and roadsides. Many times, they have been spotted foraging around the small white flowers of trees and shrubs in the Inga genus, and the flowers of Myrtaceous, and Verbenaceae plants.  

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The Rufous-Crested Coquette,

Reproduction of the Rufous-Crested Coquette

However, no egg laying and mating has been observed in this species, but they do a similar courtship ritual to the Coquette species. 

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 They are primarily silent but they have been recorded to make a sharp “tsip” noise when foraging on nectar and chipping sounds as well. These hummingbirds inhabit the Pacific and Caribbean mountainsides of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Panama, Colombia, and Costa Rica. Very few numbers of birds are also observed in Western Brazil. 

The Rufous-Crested Coquette,

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The Rufous-Crested Coquettes are rare but their population seems to be stable, they are considered one of the least concerns on the IUCN red list. 

 

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