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Sword-billed Hummingbird Ensifera ensifera

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  • © Bob Walker

The Sword-billed Hummingbird is a charismatic species from Andean South America.  It is found from Venezuela and Colombia in the north to Bolivia in the south.  The species belongs to a monotypic genus, Ensifera, and is quite different from all other hummingbirds; metallic green and bronzed overall, with a black bill that is slightly upcurved and longer than the body length.  This is the only bird species with a bill length that exceeds the body length.  When seen perched, the species usually holds its bill quite upright, presumably because of balance issues stemming from this long and relatively heavy structure.

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/swbhum1