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GALLERIES > BIRDS > APODIFORMES > TROCHILIDAE > WEDGE-TAILED SABREWING [Campylopterus curvipennis]

Wedge-tailed Sabrewing Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Wedge-Tailed Sabrewing (Campylopterus curvipennis) is a species of hummingbird in the Trochilidae family. It is found in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and heavily degraded former forest.

Taxonomy

There are three recognized subspecies of the Sabrewing which have completely separate ranges and may be distinct species. C. c. curvipennis occurs closest to the U.S. border and has a slightly longer bill than C. c. pampa, which occurs in the Yucatán Peninsula and is sometimes split into the genus Pampa. Some sources give C. c. excellens as a subspecies but this species is now known as C. excellens, the Long-tailed Sabrewing.

Description

The Wedge-tailed Sabrewing is a large hummingbird with a long wedge-shaped tail. Upperparts are green with blue to violet-blue crown that blends into the green nape. It has a white spot behind its eyes and a dark gray cheek. Underparts are pale gray to whitish, often slightly darker laterally. The bill is long and ranges from straight to slightly decurved, and the lower mandible is pinkish at base. The adult male is slightly larger than the female, but other than that sexes are similar. Juveniles are similar to adults but duller in coloring.

Distribution and habitat

The Wedge-tailed Sabrewing resides in humid tropical forests, woodlands, and dense second growth, ranging from near sea level to 4500 feet above sea level. It is not known to migrate, ranging from within 250 miles of the U.S. border in southern Tamaulipas to northern Oaxaca. It is unrecorded north of Mexico.

Behavior

The Wedge-tailed Sabrewing often forages along walls of vegetation at forest edges and on steep slopes. Its flight style varies from the rapid wingbeats of typical hummingbirds to slower wingbeats like those of swifts. It is bold and curious, and often approaches humans. It breeds from March to July, and its nest is a well-camouflaged cup attached to a horizontal branch.

Vocalization

Calls include steady, persistent chipping and a shrill, nasal peek. The Wedge-tailed Sabrewing usually sings from dense vegetation, and its songs are complex and variable, usually including insect-like chips, squeaks, and squeals, followed by a series of excited warbled or gurgling notes. Males sing year-round, sometimes in small groups. Some tail or wing movements are associated with perched singing displays.





                                     



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