The Short-Tailed Emerald (Chlorostilbon poortmani) is a species of hummingbird in the Chlorostilbon genus of the Trochilidae family, found in South America. It has also been called Poortman's Emerald Hummingbird.
The binomial name was given by Jules Bourcier (1797-1873), a French naturalist and expert on hummingbirds.
Range, habitat and population
The Short-tailed Emerald's natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and montanes, and also heavily degraded former forests, in Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela. The bird has a wide range, estimated at 64,000 square kilometres.
The global population and population trends have not been quantified. Although the species is described as 'uncommon' in parts of its range, it is not believed to be near the threshold for inclusion in the IUCN Red List (viz., the population is not thought to be fewer than ten thousand mature individuals, with numbers declining).
The bird has an overall length of three inches (seven and a half centimetres). The bill is straight, about 0.7 inches (18 mm) long and black.
The Short-tailed Emerald shares its general body colour with all of the Chlorostilbon genus. The male's bird's whole crown and belly are a solid glittering emerald green, with iridescence, the back a shining green, while the feathers of his short tail are a darker olive green. The female bird also has a shining green back, but her crown is nearer to brown in colour, while her underparts are grey, and she has a short white streak behind her eye. Her tail is pale green, with two central feathers of shining green and with an off-white tip and a blue-black subterminal band.
There are two subspecies, the Santander Emerald (Chlorostilbon poortmani euchloris) and the Short-tailed Emerald (Chlorostilbon poortmani poortmani).
The English ornithologist John Gould depicts Poortman's Emerald Hummingbird in a lithograph dated 1860, from the neighborhood of Bogotá, Colombia, with a Victoria water lily against the background of a lake, a juxtaposition which has been called "one of the most striking examples of a plant chosen for its fame and beauty rather than its appropriateness".
- Gould, John, A Monograph of the Trochilidae or Humming Birds with 360 plates (volume 5, 1861)
- BirdLife International, Threatened Birds of the World (Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK, 2000)
- BirdLife International, Threatened Birds of the World 2004 (CD-ROM, BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK, 2004)
Gallery of other Chlorostilbons