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Copper-rumped Hummingbird (Saucerottia tobaci erythronotos)

Yerette, Trinidad

June 20, 2012

Copper-rumped Hummingbird

Nancy took this image while on a trip led by Brian Rapoza for the Tropical Audubon Society to Trinidad and Tobago. When we took this photograph, the subject's scientific name was Amazilia tobaci. This subspecies is the sole representative on Trinidad and has sometimes been called the Trinidad hummingbird. It is smaller than the Tobago subspecies (S.t. tobaci). There are several other subspecies on mainland Venezuela.

This is a small (3⅜", ⅙ ounce), but aggressively territorial hummingbird that is the predominant species of hummingbird in Trinidad, and is fairly common throughout its range. It is usually found in forest edges, second-growth woodlands, and gardens in the lowlands of Venezuela, Trinidad, and Tobago. According to eBird, this would be a female because of the dull brown belly (males being green in that area). None of the other sources I've checked have made that (or any other) distinction between the sexes.

These hummingbirds are solitary in all aspects of their life. The male's only familial involvement is to mate with a female. There is no pair bond. She builds the nest, incubates the eggs, and rears the chicks. He just defends his own territory and may mate with several partners (as may she). She may have up to three broods in a season.

Photographic details: Canon EOS 7D camera w/ EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens set at 400mm. Off-camera flash was used. Camera was on f/6.7 for 1/1500 second at ISO 1600.

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