Scissor-tailed hummingbird

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Scissor-tailed hummingbird
Hylonympha macrocerca.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Hylonympha
Gould, 1873
Species: H. macrocerca
Binomial name
Hylonympha macrocerca
Gould, 1873

The scissor-tailed hummingbird (Hylonympha macrocerca) is a bird species in the family Trochilidae, the only member of the genus Hylonympha.



This species can be found only in Venezuela.[1] It was formerly (2004) classified as a Vulnerable species by the IUCN. But new research has shown it to be rarer than it was believed. Consequently, it is uplisted to Endangered status in 2008.[1]


Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical lower and upper moist montane forests. It is threatened by habitat loss, at an elevation of 800–1,200 metres (2,600–3,900 ft) above sea level.[1]


Hylonympha macrocerca can reach a length of about 19 centimetres (7.5 in), with a 10 centimetres (3.9 in) long tail. Males of these hummingbirds show an amazing blackish-purple forked long tail, a metallic dark green plumage with a shining violet cap, an emerald breast and a blackish-green hind crown. In the females the tail is shorter than in males. They are dark green, with a chestnut belly and a white centre of breast. Bill is black, long and slightly decurved.[1][2]


These hummingbirds in primary forests mainly feed on nectar of Bromeliaceae flowers and on small insects, whereas in secondary forests they feed at Heliconia aurea and Costus species.[1][2]

Distribution map


  • del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.

External links[edit]