Stripe-tailed Hummingbird: The Ultimate Guide

From the Gulf slope of southeastern Mexico to Panama, the stripe-tailed hummingbird is a hummingbird species that can only be found in damp subtropical forests and surrounding clearings. They are medium-sized with a vivid green distinct appearance, dwell primarily on land, and exhibit a seasonal pattern of partial migration.

  • Scientific name: Eupherusa eximia
  • Length: 8 to 10 cm (3.1 to 3.9 in)
  • Weight: an average of 4.27 g (0.15 oz)
  • Wingspan: around 18 cm (7 in).

The species gets its English name from the contrast between the black outer webs and the white inner feathers with black tips on the three pairs of inner tail feathers.

Key Identification

Stripe-tailed Hummingbird Identification
Stripe-tailed Hummingbird Identification

The male and female of this stripe-tailed hummingbird have identically straight black bills. When the wing is folded, the cinnamon rufous secondary feathers appear as a patch.

Stripe – tailed Hummingbird video. Source: Wild About Travel

The rufous wings nearly completely reveal the green shoulder feathers as it flies. It has vivid metallic grass green underparts and white under tail coverts. However, both sexes still have some distinctions.

The male stripe-tailed hummingbirds
The male stripe-tailed hummingbirds

The male stripe-tailed hummingbirds are bigger than their nominated counterparts. Their undersides are less bluish, and the black ends of their outer tail feathers are less distinct. Likewise, only the very tips of the outer sites of the tail feathers are black.

female counterparts
female counterparts

In contrast, the outermost tail feathers of a female are typically pure white. While the male upper tail coverts are more of a bronzy hue, the inner feathers of the female are tipped in a dingy gray to nearly black.

However, many people still see its appearance as very similar to Coppery-headed Emerald.

Stripe-tailed Hummingbird’s sound:

Stripe-tailed Hummingbird’s sound. Source: xeno-canto.org

Food

hummingbirds
hummingbirds

The stripe-tailed hummingbird may be seen nectaring at all levels of the forest, although the canopy is where it is most often seen. They will occasionally drop down to the understory, but only females of each species make this a consistent behavior.

Flowers are typically fiercely protected by males. It is omnivorous. However, it has been seen to prefer Inga trees, Acanthaceae and Rubiaceae bushes, epiphytes, and the blooms of Clusia, Besleria, and Salvia.

Lifestyle

hummingbirds lifestyle
hummingbirds lifestyle

The stripe-tailed hummingbird has a well-defined breeding season of April through August in Mexico, and September through April in Costa Rica. It builds a cup nest made of plant down, often decorating it with lichens (particularly red ones), and sets typically between 1 and 3 meters (3.3 and 10.2 feet) in the air near a stream. There are just two eggs in the nest, and nobody knows how long it takes to hatch or raise the young.

The male hummingbird only interacts with the female during the actual mating procedure. They don’t swarm or travel together, and they don’t form Pairs.

Flying in a u-shape in front of a girl is a common courtship maneuver for males. After mating, he will quickly split from the female.

The large, cup-shaped nest is the work of the female, who weaves together plant fibers and covers them with green moss for concealment. She uses sticky spider webs and other materials to reinforce the nest’s construction and give it elasticity so that it may expand to accommodate her growing babies. Typically, the nest will be perched on a slender, low horizontal branch.

She incubates her eggs (about the size of coffee beans) for roughly 15–19 days on her own while the male protects the area and the flowers he uses for food. Female birds are responsible for the sole care and feeding of their young, which consists mostly of debunked food.

Probably because of the tiny nest size, hummingbird parents only tend to their young for the first week or two. After that, they let them feed for themselves, even on chilly nights. Usually, between 20 and 26 days of age, the young will make their first trip outside the nest.

Population

Despite the lack of reliable population data, it is generally accepted that this species is abundant in the wild and hence is classified as “least concern.” They are neither in danger of extinction nor are they reliant on strict conservation measures.

The stripe-tailed hummingbird migrates between the higher and lower elevations of its area according to the seasons.

According to Wikipedia, the stripe-tailed hummingbirds are often found in Veracruz and Oaxaca in eastern Mexico, which are the furthest north of the globe. However, they can also be seen from Chiapas in eastern Mexico south to southern Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, and central Nicaragua. Dominantly, the Caribbean and Pacific slopes in western Panama and Costa Rica are both said to be the home of the subspecies.

They prefer the habitat that is near and inside damp highlands, semi-deciduous, and pine-oak woodland, as well as plantations. Specifically, according to

  • Mexico sees it between near sea level and 1,800 m (5,900 ft)
  • Honduras sees it between 300 and 1,800 m (980 and 5,900 ft), and
  • Costa Rica sees it between 300 and 2,450 m (980 and 8,000 ft).

Interesting facts

Bird facts
Bird facts

While there are limited resources about this type of bird, here are some interesting facts about hummingbird species:

There are at least fifty distinct species of hummingbirds, and many of them locate only in Mexico. Furthermore, you may find 16 different species of hummingbirds in the United States.

To reduce their body weight and improve their flight, these birds now have smaller, lighter feet. A hummingbird’s feet are too small to walk or hop, yet it can use them to move side to side when perched.

In the air, they can reach a speed of about 20-30 miles per hour (32.2-48.3 kph). Especially during the mating show, they speed up their ‘u’ shaped flight patterns and beat their wings rapidly.

Rather than soaring to great heights, they hunt for food at low and medium altitudes within their breeding territory. That’s 1.5 to 6 meters (5-20 feet) from the floor.

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