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White-tipped Sicklebill Eutoxeres aquila

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Trochilidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Mileidy Betancourth-Cundar, Beltran-Arevalo Beltran-Arevalo, and Patricia Torres-Sánchez
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Sicklebills have an extraordinarily sharp decurve to its long bill, which renders them unmistakable among hummingbirds. This bill is apparently specially adapted to obtain nectar from the flowers of Heliconia and Centropogon plants. Sicklebills feed by "trap-lining" between favorite plants and, unlike most other hummingbirds, actually perch on the flowers while feeding. Buff-tailed Sicklebill (E. condamini) is the only other species of sicklebill and, although partly sympatric with the White-tipped, is distinguished by its buffy outer rectrices. White-tipped Sicklebill occurs in the understory of humid forest in foothills and on mountain slopes from Costa Rica south to northern Peru, and is best observed by patiently waiting at a stand of Heliconia or Centropogon flowers. Their true abundance is revealed only with knowledge of the low chip note given by these birds as they race through the understory between feeding sites.

Song

© Mauricio Alvarez

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

Recommended Citation

Betancourth-Cundar, M., B. Beltran-Arevalo, and P. Torres-Sánchez (2014). White-tipped Sicklebill (Eutoxeres aquila), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.whtsic1.01