|Male in NW Ecuador|
Bourcier & Mulsant, 1846
The black-tailed trainbearer (Lesbia victoriae) is a species of hummingbird in the family Trochilidae. It is found between 2500 and 3800m in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland, and heavily degraded former forest.
Males measure between 21 and 24 centimeters long. It’s mostly characterized by long black tail feathers, green feathers cover all of its body and a green iridiscent patch in the chest and throat. Females are between 13,5 and 14,5 centimeters in length. It differs from the male with a shorter tail and a brighter abdominal coloration with green spots.
With 59,9mm in wing length Lesbia victoriae victoriae Is the biggest subespecies in the genus Lesbia.
Distribution and habitat
The black-tailed trainbearer is widely distributed in central and northern Andes from Colombia, through Ecuador and Peru in altitudes between 2500 and 3800 meters.
Four subspecies are distributed across the region. Lesbia victoriae victoriae is found north, in the Colombian central Andes, and is distributed all the way through south Ecuador, together with L. v. aequatorialis. L. v. juliae is found in the center of the distribution range, from south Ecuador to Northern Peru. L. v. berlepschi on the other hand occupies the southernmost area of its distribution from Huánuco to Cuzco in Peru .
Lesvia victoriae prefers semi-open areas instead of closed forest, meaning that it can addapt well to urban ecosystems like parks and gardens.
Four subespecies are recognised:
Lesbia victoriae victoriae
Lesbia victoriae aequatorialis
Lesbia victoriae juliae
Lesbia victoriae berlepschi
It doesn’t present aggressive behavior and is commonly displaced by more aggressive species as the Sparkling violetear (Colibri corruscans).
Is mostly a nectar generalist, foraging flowers ranging from big to small and including waterers in their nectar consumption, mostly near the ground. They complement their diet by consuming small arthropods, in a greater percentage then species occurring at lower altitudes.
Males present some courtship behavior, flying high and displaying their tail, then diving and making a clicking noise with the tail. Once courtship ends, the couple mates and builds a nest in which they tend to use synthetic fibers from human activity when available.
Males and females both take care of the nest, located in bushes and tend to shy away when there is danger near it.
Because of its broad distribution and the size and stability of populations L. victoriae has been evauated as least concern by UICN. Also, preference for open habitats makes this hummingbird more resilient to changes in urban and rural areas.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Lesbia victoriae". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Ridley, Robert S. (2011). Colibríes del Ecuador. Guía de campo. Ecuador: Fundación Jocotoco.
- Weller, André-A; Schuchmann, Karl-L. "Biogeographic and taxonomic revision of the trainbearers Lesbia (Trochilidae), with the description of two new subspecies" (PDF). Ornithol. 43.
- Remsen, J. V.; Stiles, F. Gary; Scott, Peter E. "Frequency of Arthropods in Stomachs of Tropical Hummingbirds". American Ornithologists' Union. 103.
- Carrión, Juan Manuel (1986). Aves del valle de Quito y sus alrededores. Quito, Ecuador: Fundación Natura.
- Moore, Robert T. "Habits of Male Hummingbirds near Their Nests". Wilson Ornithological Society. 59.