|Adult male, Asa Wright Nature Centre, Trinidad|
The tufted coquette ( Lophornis ornatus ) is a tiny hummingbird that breeds in eastern Venezuela, Trinidad, Guiana and northern Brazil. It is an uncommon but widespread species, which appears to be a local or seasonal migrant, although its movements are not well understood.
This small bird inhabits open country, gardens and cultivation. It is 6.6 cm long and weighs 2.3 g. The black-tipped red bill is short and straight.
The male tufted coquette is a striking bird. It has a rufous head crest and a coppery green back with a whitish rump band that is prominent in flight. The forehead and underparts are green, and black-spotted rufous plumes project from the neck sides. The tail is golden rufous.
The female lacks the crest and plumes. She has green upperparts, except for the whitish tail band, and rufous underparts which become much paler on the belly. The tail is mostly bronze green with a dusky band and whitish tips to the feathers. Immature males are like the female, but the throat is whitish with fine dark spotting.
The female tufted coquette lays two eggs in a small cup nest made of plant down and placed on a branch.
Tufted coquettes are tame and approachable. Their food is nectar, taken from a variety of flowers, and some small invertebrates. The small size and steady flight means that this hummer often resembles a large bee as it moves from flower to flower. The call of this species while feeding is a light chik.
- ffrench, Richard (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd edition ed.). Comstock Publishing. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2.
- Hilty, Steven L (2003). Birds of Venezuela. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5.