Amethyst Woodstar (Calliphlox amethystina)
Male Amethyst Woodstar, Minas Gerais, Brazil, April 2001 - click for larger image Brazil

The Amethyst Woodstar is one of the smallest hummingbirds and is found in South America east of the Andes from Venezuela to northern Argentina.

It is found in a wide variety of habitats including gardens but excluding forest interiors.

Amethyst Woodstar, Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil, July 2002 - click for larger image The male has a straight black bill, a noticeably forked tail and an amethyst throat with a white band across the chest. The female has whitish underparts with green spots on the throat and a short tail.

At first glance the bird in the second photo looks like a female but the throat is a bit darker and the flanks are not so rufous as one would expect. When the bird turned to show its gorget in the thrird photo, there were a few iridescent amethyst discs showing which, I believe, means that it is an eclipse male. The fact that the photos were taken in July and the breeding season is November to April helps to underpin this conclusion.

Amethyst Woodstar, Chapada Diamantina, Brazil, July 2002 - click for larger image The Amethyst Woodstar is one of the most proficient fliers in the hummingbird world being very small and with short wings. Its wing beats have been measured at 80 per second for the male and 70 per second for the female which gives her a slightly lower humming note.

Its heart beat has also been measured - at 20 beats per second or 1,240 beats per minute!

There are illustrations in HBW, Volume 5, Page 666; and Sick, Plate 20.

Previous Page Back to Index Next Page

If you do not see a menu on the left, you may have arrived at this page from another site. Please click Home to get to my main page. Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites