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Return of Bird of the Week: Gray-breasted Sabrewing

Return of Bird of the Week was delayed a day for the Fourth of July. With that behind us, let’s have a look at another hummingbird.

Gray-breasted Sabrewing, Manu Road, Peru

Gray-breasted Sabrewing, Manu Road, Peru

This is a species WC has only seen once, and only briefly. This is the best of the three poor quality photos WC managed to get before the bird left. Like last week’s much more colorful Violet Sabrewing, this is a member of the genus Campylopterus, probably the drabbest member of that genus, and the subspecies¬†Obscurus, the drabbest of that species. Kind of the polar opposite of its Violet cogener. WC has not been able to photograph any of the other ten Sabrewing species as yet.

The dark green back and the gray breast resemble several other hummingbird species, but he whitish lower third of the the tail feathers is a reliable field mark, present in both sexes.

The species has a very wide range, extending from central Venezuela to the north to southern Brazil in the sought, and from the east slopes of the Andes (where this bird was photographed) to the Atlantic Ocean. The wide range, and its ability to adapt to human disturbance, makes this a species of Least Concern.

Despite being fairly common across most of that range, the bird, like too many neotropic species, is little studied and poorly known to science.

For more bird photographs, please visit Frozen Feather Images.




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