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Green Hermit

The Green Hermit (Phaethornis guy) is a large hummingbird that is a resident breeder from southern Central America (Costa Rica and Panama) south to northwestern South America (northeastern Venezuela and Trinidad and the northern Andes to eastern Peru)

It is 5.3 in long and weighs 0.22 oz (6.3 g). The male Green Hermit is mainly dark green with a blue-green rump. It has a dark mask through the eye, with buff stripes above and below this, and down the centre of the throat. The central feathers of the tapered tail are long and white-tipped, and are wiggled in display at the communal leks. The reddish bill is long and decurved. The female is duller and sootier grey below, with an even longer bill and tail. The call of this species is a loud zurk, and the males' lekking "song" is a repeated swark.

The nominate subspecies Phaethornis guy guy is found in Venezuela and Trinidad. The western P. g. apicalis of the American cordillera is slightly smaller and the sexes more similar.

This hermit inhabits forest undergrowth, usually near water, and prefers hilly areas. It seems to favor primary rainforest and wet premontane forest, and though it tolerates some amount of habitat destruction (e.g. for locals' subsistence farming) it will try to avoid secondary forest as long as better habitat is available. In the Colombian Cordillera Oriental, it has been recorded at altitudes from 2,100-5,700 ft ASL. Habitat there usually has a canopy height of around 82 ft (25 m) and is dominated by trees like Elaeagia (Rubiaceae) or palmsE.g. Iriartea deltoidea or Wettinia praemorsa: Salaman et al. (2002); there is usually plentiful undergrowth and/or epiphytes and hemiepiphytes (e.g. Clusiaceae).Salaman et al. (2002)

The food of this species is nectar, taken from a wide variety of flowers, and some small insects; it prefers flowers 3050 mm long by 27 mm wide, though it will occasionally visit flowers up to 75 mm long and 20 mm wide or as short as 15 mm. At Monteverde (Costa Rica), preferred foodplants include Yellow Jacobinia (Justicia umbrosa) and Razisea spicata (Acanthaceae), Pitcairnia brittoniana (Bromeliaceae), Spiral Ginger , Drymonia conchocalyx and D. rubra (Gesneriaceae), Heliconia tortuosa (Heliconiaceae), and Malvaviscus palmanus (Malvaceae). Less commonly visited flowers were mostly GesneriaceaeRecorded at Besleria triflora, Columnea anisophylla, C. lepidocaula, C. magnifica, C. microcalyx, Glossoloma tetragonum and Solenophora calycosa: Temeles et al. (2002) and ZingiberalesRecorded at Aphelandra tridentata, Poikilacanthus macranthus and Stenostephanus blepharorachis (Acanthaceae), and Renealmia thrysoides (Zingiberaceae): Temeles et al. (2002), but also certain BromeliaceaeRecorded at Guzmania nicaraguensis: Temeles et al. (2002), CampanulaceaeRecorded at Burmeistera cyclostigmata and Centropogon solanifolius: Temeles et al. (2002), EricaceaeRecorded at Psammisia ramiflora: Temeles et al. (2002) and RubiaceaeRecorded at Psychotria elata and Ravnia triflora: Temeles et al. (2002).Temeles et al. (2002)

As noted above, males assemble at leks for courtship. In the Colombian Cordillera Oriental, active leks were observed between September and November, but neither in August nor in December, indicating a distinct breeding season. The Green Hermit lays one egg in a conical nest suspended under a large leaf, usually over water. Incubation is 1718 days, and fledging another 21 to 23 days.


Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

(1991): A guide to the birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd edition). Comstock Publishing, Ithaca, N.Y.. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2

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

(2002): New and noteworthy bird records from the east slope of the Andes of Colombia. Caldasia 24(1): 157-189. PDF fulltext

(2002): The role of flower width in hummingbird bill length-flower length relationships. Biotropica 34(1): 68-80. PDF fulltext

External links

Green Hermit videos

Green Hermit Photo Article

Stamps (for Trinidad and Tobago) with range map

Green Hermit photo gallery

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

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