Birds Species

Bronzy Hermit History and 5 Best Facts

Bronzy Hermit History

The bronzy hermit (Glaucis aeneus) is a hummingbird species belonging to the Trochilidae family. It can be found in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Initially thought to be the same species, the bronzy hermit and the rufous-breasted hermit (G. hirsutus) are now identified as superspecies. Although the bronzy hermit is categorized as monotypic, there have been instances where the separate Central and South American populations were treated as subspecies. 

Range and habitat

The Bronze Hermit has a wide distribution in North and Central South America. Its range extends along the Andes Mountains from Venezuela to Bolivia and southeastern Brazil. It occupies diverse habitats from lowland rainforests to montane cloud forests up to 3000 m altitude. Within this range, it inhabits moist forests bird edges, orchards, and flower gardens.


Bronzy Hermit is a small, fast-flying bird identified by its small size, bronze-green upperparts, and white underparts covered with colorful spots. The long bill resembles a needle and is proportionately longer than the little head and body. The tail is rounded and the wings are narrow with black flight feathers. The sexes look the same. Juveniles are marked with buff spots rather than colored spots on their throats.

Diet / Feeding

The Bronzy Hermit is a bird’s specialized nectar feeder, and its diet consists primarily of tiny arthropods and flowering flowers. It uses its distinctive long bill to drink nectar while hovering in front of flowers. Occasionally it may steal nectar by piercing the base of the flower instead of entering properly. Flowers of canopy trees, epiphytes, and herbs are regularly observed. To augment its high-energy diet, the hermit also surveils tiny insects while in the air.

Also Read: Saw-billed hermit

Unique behavior

The Bronzy Hermit exhibits some interesting feeding behaviors. These soldiers are known to follow ant swarms and opportunistically feed on insects that slip through ant columns. A technique called “trip lining” involves repeatedly visiting favorite flower patches in a habit path or circuit. The hermit exhibits a remarkable memory by examining the flowers produced by the seasons. It aggressively defends flower territories against intruders.

Breeding and nesting

The breeding season is from March to June with peak flowering. Remarkably, the Little Bronze Hermit makes a relatively large nest, 12 cm wide and 8 cm deep. The female builds a nest with cobwebs and lines on a thin branch 1-12 m above the ground under the plant. She lays two pea-sized white eggs for 15-19 days. The nestlings fledge in about 20-26 days. Parental care duties are performed exclusively by women. Men are frivolous and do not care about parents.


Information on migration in this widely distributed species of bird is scarce. The bronze hermit appears to live throughout much of its range. However, some downward and southward seasonal movements are reported in response to flower availability. Vagrants occasionally roam outside the normal range. To gain a deeper understanding of movement patterns, banding studies are required.

Risks and protection

With its wide distribution, the Bronzey Hermit is considered Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. Specific threats are less known but likely include habitat loss for agriculture and degradation by invasive species. This species is found in many protected areas within its range. Maintaining flowering birds through habitat conservation will benefit bronze hermit populations. More research on breeding, migration, and threats is needed to guide targeted conservation efforts.

Cool Facts about Bronzy Hermit

A Bronzy Hermit is an amazing creature. Here are some interesting facts about this type of forest bird:

  1. Its small size allows it to move around and access nectar from small flowers that are inaccessible to larger forest birds.
  2. The species name “Aenea” refers to its bronze-colored plumage. The genus name “glosses” is derived from the ancient Greek meaning “owl-like” or “big-eyed”.
  3. The inner end of the long bill has a special groove that helps in the absorption of nectar. The tongue is forked to help collect nectar.
  4. Males perform aerial courtship by repeatedly flying vertical loops above the canopy to attract females. A loud “chit” sounds from the wings.
  5. Favorite flowers of the bronze hermit include passionflower, mistletoe, penstemon, fuchsia, coral bean, and tubular red flowers.

In summary, the Petite Bronzey Hermit is a unique hummingbird that is perfectly adapted to feed on nectar from flowers in various South American habitats. Despite its small size, this Bird species exhibits remarkable potential thanks to a highly active metabolism and specialized feeding abilities that allow it to thrive and advance the evolutionary line of hermit hummingbird.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *