Green thorntail

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Green thorntail
Green Thorntail JCB.jpg
male, Milpe Bird Sanctuary, NW Ecuador
Green Thorntail (Discosura conversii).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Discosura
Species: D. conversii
Binomial name
Discosura conversii
(Bourcier & Mulsant, 1846)

Popelairia conversii


The green thorntail (Discosura conversii) is a small hummingbird that is a resident breeder from Costa Rica to western Ecuador. It occurs at middle elevations from 700–1400 m but may descend lower early in the wet season. In Costa Rica and Panama it is confined to the Caribbean slopes.

This is a forest canopy species. The nest is undescribed, but a published image [1] shows a female constructing a nest on a thin branch, so it is presumably similar to other cup nests built by species such as the green-breasted mango. All hummingbirds lay two white eggs incubated by the female alone.

Green thorntail has mainly green upperparts, a white rump band and a blackish lower rump and tail. It weighs just 3 g. The 10 cm long male has the long wire-like tail that gives this species its name and green underparts. The 7.5 cm long female lacks the long tail and has blackish underparts with a green breast band. She has conspicuous white moustaches

The green thorntail is usually silent, but may give a quiet chip. These birds visit small flowers including those of epiphytes and shrubs, and also take tiny flies and wasps. Breeding males perch on open branches and may give a dive display.



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