|near Manu Road, Peru|
Du Bus, 1846
This species is one of the smallest birds on Earth, with a mature weight of around 2.5 g (0.088 oz). 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. 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.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Discosura popelairii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses by John B. Dunning Jr. (Editor). CRC Press (1992), ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5.
- 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
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