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White-tailed Sabrewing Campylopterus ensipennis

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  • © Faraaz Abdool

Classified as vulnerable, these iridescent hummingbirds have a small range in Venezuela and Tobago. Deforestation, especially slash and burn agriculture, continues to be a significant threat to the population. In 1963, the Tobago population fell dramatically following the destruction of hurricane Flora, but it appears to be recovering. White-tailed Sabrewings inhabit montane forests, light woodlands, and coffee plantations; in Venezuela, they have historically been common in Paria Peninsula and Cuevo del Guáchero National Park, Caripe, and Cerro Negro. While they typically forage in the low and mid-levels of the forest, they also feed in Venezuelan woodland canopies, sometimes feeding around aggressive hummingbirds. Males frequently sing from a perch when they aren’t visiting bromeliads and banana trees. Males appear to glitter all over and exhibit a violet-blue throat and predominantly green upperparts. Females are duller with less blue, and gray mixed with green below. Both sexes have a white spot behind the eye and white outer tail feathers.

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© Paul A. Schwartz

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

Recommended Citation

White-tailed Sabrewing (Campylopterus ensipennis), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/whtsab1