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GALLERIES > BIRDS > APODIFORMES > TROCHILIDAE > TURQUOISE-THROATED PUFFLEG [Eriocnemis godini]


Turquoise-throated Puffleg Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Turquoise-throated Puffleg (Eriocnemis godini), also known as Godin's Puffleg, is a possibly extinct hummingbird from Ecuador and Colombia.

Description

Based on the few known specimens, it has a total length of 10-11 centimetres. The plumage of the male is predominantly green with a turquoise tinted throat. Both sexes have violet blue untertail-coverts and a straight black bill. The upperparts and the main part of the underparts are shimmering golden green in the males. Rump and uppertail-coverts are bluish green. The throat is pale violet blue and the forked tail is bluish black. The female lacks the throat patches, its plumage is less light and the belly more golden. Like all pufflegs it has striking leg-puffs of dense white downy feather tufts.

Taxonomical debate

The Turquoise-thoated Puffleg is a subject of a taxonomical debate, at least partially due to its status and the few known specimens. Graves (1996) assumed it could be a hybrid between E. vestita and an undetermined Eriocnemis species, while Ridgely (2001) suggested to see it as subspecies of the E. vestita.

Distribution and status

This hummingbird is only known by six specimens which were collected in the 19th century. Only the type specimen from 1850 has a known locality, it being from the Chillo valley, Guayllabamba plains, Ecuador, at an altitude between 2,100 and 2,300 m asl. Two skins are simply labelled "Bogotá" - a common practice in the 19th century and not necessarily directly related to the actual locality where they were taken. It has been suggested that these two "Bogotá" specimens originated from Pasto in Nariño, Colombia.

Virtually all presumed habitat at the type locality has been destroyed. Only a few remnants are left in the steep-sided stream-cuts in the arid upper Guaillabamba drainage.

After an unconfirmed sighting in 1976, there was a survey in 1980, but this was unsuccessful.





                                     



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