Trochilus tzacatl De la Llave, 1833, Mexico. Five subspecies recognized.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Rieffer’s hummingbird; French: Ariane а ventre gris; German: Braunschwanzamazilie; Spanish: Amazilia Tzacatl.
3.1–4.3 in (8–11 cm); female c. 0.18 oz (5.2 g), male 0.19 oz (5.5 g); subspecies A. t. handleyi 0.25 oz (7.0 g). Male has straight, medium-sized bill, fleshy red with dark tip, or upper mandible blackish; upperparts, flanks, and belly golden green to bonzegreen; throat glittering golden green, sometimes with a turquoise gleam in certain lights; belly ashy gray to grayish brown; tail rufous, rectrices with bronze-green to copperish margins. Female similar to male, but has grayish subterminal bars on throat feathers and white belly. Immature darker grayish towards belly.
A. t. tzacatl: central-east, possibly northeast Mexico to central Panama; A. t. handleyi: Isla Escudo de Veraguas (off northwest Panama; A. t. fuscicaudata: north and west Colombia and west Venezuela; A. t. jucunda: southwest Colombia and west Ecuador; A. t. brehmi: Ricaurte, Nariсo, Colombia; endemic to the upper Rнo Guiza valley.
Edges of humid evergreen forest, clearings, plantations, and man-made habitats. Often in second growth and semi-open, thicket-rich areas; in South America, partially in gallery forest and mangrove. Occurs from sea-level to 8,200 ft (2,500 m).
Mainly territorial, also when associated in groups; intruders, even larger trochilids, butterflies, and euglossine bees are sometimes attacked in diving flight. More sedentary in humid regions than in arid areas. Northernmost population winters along Pacific and Caribbean coast of Mexico. Vagrants may occur farther north of the range limit and have been recorded from southern Texas in summer and autumn. Seasonal movements are known from Colombia and Ecuador due to altitudinal variation of flowering periods. Frequently gathers in some numbers with conspecific or congeners such as A. amazilia and A. rutila.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Nectar and arthropods. Forages in all strata from near the ground to the more open sides of tree crowns. Feeds on a wide range of plants, including Antigonon, Callistrimon, Clitoria, Costus, Isertia, Hamelia, Heliconia, Stachytarpheta, Tabebuia, and Lantana. Gleans insects and small spiders from leaves and branches.
Breeds all year round. Favorite nest-sites are horizontal branches in smaller trees or shrubs, mostly 6.6–16 ft (2–5 m) above ground; sometimes cup-shaped nest is placed in fork. Nest material varies, and includes plant down, yellowish brown to grayish brown fibers, cobweb, pieces of dead leaves, moss, and lichen. Two eggs; incubation 15–16 days by female. Chicks blackish, with buff dorsal down; fledging at 18–22 days.
Common to very common throughout range.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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