Birds Species

Band-tailed barbthroat History and 5 Best Facts

Band-tailed barbthroat

The band-tailed barbthroat (Threnetes ruckeri) is a Bird species of hummingbird found in the tropics of South America. This unique hummingbird has fascinated zoologists and bird watchers with its long curved bill and vibrant plumage. This article will review the identification, distribution, habitat, diet, behavior, reproduction, and conservation status of this fascinating species.


The band-tailed barb-throat is medium-sized for a hummingbird measuring 11–12 cm (4.3–4.7 in) in length and weighing 5–7 g (0.18–0.25 oz). Several features help distinguish this Bird species. Males have a velvety black head and throat, a bright reddish forehead, and rusty cinnamon underparts. The substance is similar but the underside is gray instead of cinnamon. The long bill of both sexes is reddish with a black tip and distinctly curved. There is a distinctive chestnut band near the tip of the tail. Juveniles resemble adult females.

The band-tailed barb-throat is sometimes confused with the related sapphire puffle. However, Pufflegs have white underparts instead of cinnamon or gray. The band-tailed barbthroat also lacks the white thigh fins that give the pufferfish its name.

Also Read: Pale-tailed barbthroat


The band-tailed barbthroat is found on the eastern Andean slopes and adjacent lowlands in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. Its height ranges from 400 to 3000 meters above sea level. Within this zone, it mainly inhabits subtropical and temperate forest birds.


This Bird species occurs in various forest types, including evergreen montane forest cloud forest, and foothill and gallery birds. It prefers relatively moist forests with dense understory vegetation. The Tail-Tails Barbthroat is frequently found close to streams, roadsides, clearings, and woodland margins. It appears to tolerate some habitat disturbance and will visit orchards and agricultural areas near forests.


Band-tailed barbthroat
Band-tailed barbthroat

Like all hummingbirds band-tailed barbthroats feed primarily on flower nectar. It uses its distinctive long bill to access nectar from curved tubular flowers. Some favorite nectar sources include the native Andean genus Psammisia and the introduced fuchsias and aloes. To satisfy its appetite, the bird also hawks tiny insects. It often goes out to catch insects in the air.


The Band-tailed Barbthroat is territorial and solitary. Males defend flower territories against intrusion by another hummingbird. Interestingly, males also separate feeding areas from breeding areas. When not defending territories, these hummingbirds can be found in small loose flocks at favorable nectar sources. They are out and about early in the morning and stay out late into the evening.

Cool Facts about  band-tailed barbthroat

band-tailed barbthroat is an amazing creature. Here are some interesting facts about this type of forest bird:

1. The breeding season of the Band-tailed Barbthroat varies within its range, 

2. generally coinciding with peaks in flower and insect availability from February to June. 

Males conduct extensive courtship flights to impress females.

 3. Once mated, the female builds a small cup nest on a horizontal branch or vine. She builds a nest of soft plant fibers and cobwebs,

4. Cover the outside with lichen. The female lays only two small white eggs. She incubates the eggs alone for 15 to 19 days until they hatch. Chicks fledge in about 20-26 days. 

5. The female takes care of the chicks without the help of the male.


Currently, the Band-tailed Barbthroat is assessed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. Its population appears to be stable, and it has a relatively wide distribution. The remote cloud forests birds that inhabit it face some threats from logging and agriculture, but extensive habitat remains. As an insectivorous bird that depends on forest birds’ ecosystems, it requires continuous monitoring and habitat protection to ensure the survival of its population. With proper conservation measures, this magnificent Andean hummingbird will continue to illuminate its mountain forests with a glow of crimson and cinnamon.

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