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Caprimulgiformes > Trochilidae

Long-billed Hermit

Phaethornis longirostris

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Identification

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Spectacular large hummingbird of humid tropical lowlands. Favors shady forest understory and edges, especially with patches of Heliconia flowers. Males sit and sing tirelessly from perches in the understory while pumping their tail. When feeding, hovers briefly with long white tail streamers held nearly vertical and shoots off with an explosive squeak. Note the striped face, very long, arched bill, and rather drab plumage. Unlike many hummingbirds, hermits do not defend a patch of flowers but zip between widely scattered flowers, a strategy known as traplining (like it is checking widely scattered nectar traps).

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Learn more about Long-billed Hermit from…

Neotropical Birds

Life histories of all species breeding in Mexico, Central America, and South America