Wire-crested thorntail

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Wire-crested thorntail
Discosura popelairii -near Manu Road, Peru-8.jpg
near Manu Road, Peru
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Discosura
D. popelairii
Binomial name
Discosura popelairii
Du Bus, 1846
Discosura popelairii map.svg

Popelairia popelairii

The wire-crested thorntail (Discosura popelairii) is a hummingbird which occurs in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

This species is one of the smallest birds on Earth, with a mature weight of around 2.5 g (0.088 oz).[2] Males measure from 10.5 to 12 cm (4.1 to 4.7 in) in length, against the females' length of around 6.5 to 7.5 cm (2.6 to 3.0 in) long.[3][4] The male of the eastern slopes of the northern Andes has elongated tail feathers that curve outward and taper from a broad base to a slender tip. The outermost is longest and each successive feather toward the center is shorter. All are steel-blue with white shafts, making a most striking and curious display when spread. The bird has a crest of brilliant green feathers.

These birds feed on nectar from flowers using a long extendable tongue, or catch insects on the wing.

They require frequent feeding while active during the day and become torpid at night to conserve energy.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Discosura popelairii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses by John B. Dunning Jr. (Editor). CRC Press (1992), ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  • Züchner, T. 1999. Wire-crested Thorntail (Discosura popelairii). Pp. 571 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., & Sargatal, J. eds. 1999. Handbook of the Birds of the World.. Vol. 5. Barn-owls to Hummingbirds. Lynx Edicions. ISBN 84-87334-25-3

[[Category:Taxa named by Bernard du Bus de Gisignies|wire-crested thorntail]