Swordbilled Hummingbird

Booted Racket-tail

The thick, fluffy feathers around the legs of this bird become conspicuous in (light. Although both sexes have these feathers, only the male has the long tail ending in small, rounded "rackets." The birds are seen weaving in and out of the foliage in fast, beelike flight. They stop to hover before a flower, the fast-beating wings producing a deep hum. With their short bills. Booted Racket-tails prefer tree flowers that lack petal tubes. In these flowers, nectar and pollen are within easy reach at the surface. Birds sometimes cling to flowers to feed. While feeding, they utter soft, twittering calls. The species occurs in the more open types of forest environment, including the forest edge, feeding from shrub height up to the canopy.

• NliST A tiny cup nest of plant down and spiderwebs, placed on top of a level twig.

• DISTRIBUTION Andes from Venezuela south to Bolivia.

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