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Green Violet-ear

Topics: Birds of Bolivia

The Green Violet-ear (Colibri thalassinus) is an attractive hummingbird that is a resident breeder in highlands from south-central Mexico, (the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt), to western Panama and in the Andes from northern Venezuela to Bolivia. It shows seasonal movements and wanders to the United States and even Canada.

The male Green Violet-ear is grass green above and becomes a bronze color on the rump and uppertail coverlets and is 11 11.5 cm (4.25 4.5 in) in length. The tail is square and slightly notched with a broad dark blue subterminal band. It has a large violet central breast spot on the upper breast and a violet-blue band along the chin that often connects to the the violet-blue "ear," giving the bird its name. The female is similar to the male, but averages smaller and slightly duller, with a narrower violet band on the chin. The juvenile is a much duller version of the adult. Its plumage is generally olive green overall with dull gray wash to the underparts. The violet breast spot is either indistinct, incomplete, or absent. A molting juvenile may show bright metallic color in patches, particularly on the throat or breast.

The habitat is open upland country with trees and scrubs. It apparently avoids very humid rainforest.Cuervo, Andres M.; Stiles, F. Gary; Cadena, Carlos Daniel; Toro, Juan Lazaro & Londono, Gustavo A. (2003): New and noteworthy bird records from the northern sector of the Western Andes of Colombia. Bull. B. O. C. 123(1): 7-24. PDF fulltext The nest is a substantial cup of plant material 1-3m high in a tree, into which two white eggs are laid.

The Green Violet-ear song is a vigorous CHEEP-chut-chut, chip CHEET which is repeated interminably through the day. The call a dry chut. These birds visit flowers of many species of herbs, trees and scrubs for nectar.


Hilty, Steven L. (2003): Birds of Venezuela. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5

Stiles, F. Gary & Skutch, Alexander Frank (1989): A guide to the birds of Costa Rica. Comistock, Ithaca. ISBN 0-8014-9600-4

External links

Green Violet-ear videos on the Internet Bird Collection

Vagrancy to the USA and Canada

Stamps with RangeMap

Green Violet-ear photo gallery VIREO

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Green Violet-ear