Birds Species

Hook-billed Hermit History and 5 Best Facts

Hook-billed Hermit

a Hook-billed hermit, slightly limited, and with a bill that curves gently. Green tail with white tip; large broad eyebrows; dark green above and rusty below. Found in humid woodlands, it prefers Heliconia plants when foraging in the understory. The rufous-breasted hermit is similar, but its bill curves more sharply, and its tail is bronze with a white tip.


Hook-billed hermits live in humid tropical lowland evergreen forests, mostly at elevations below 1,600 feet or 500 metres and along streams with flowering heliconia. They are usually found in forest interiors but have been recorded visiting ornamental flowers in forested areas. They are usually seen in the understory/undergrowth.

These are reported to breed from September to February.

Hummingbirds are generally solitary and neither live in flocks nor migrate. And there is no pair bond for this species – the only involvement of the male in reproduction is the actual mating with the female.

During the breeding season, males of many hermit species form leks (= competitive mating displays) and gather based on traditional displays. Once a female enters their territory, they display it for her. Their displays may include wagging their tails and singing. Desired females will enter this area to select a male for mating. Often she chooses the best singer.

He will separate from the woman immediately after intercourse. A man can have many women. In all likelihood, the female will also mate with several males. Males do not participate in nest site selection, nest building or chick rearing.

The average clutch consists of two white eggs, which she incubates alone for about 15 days, while the male defends his territory and the flowers he feeds on (although hermit males are shorter than males of other hummingbird species). are aggressive). There is). Young people are born blind, active and without disabilities.

The female protects the chicks alone and feeds them regurgitated food (mostly partially-digested insects since nectar is an insufficient source of protein for the growing chicks). With her long bill, the female pushes food down the chicks’ throats directly into their stomachs.

Diet / Feeding

Hook-billed Hermit feeds primarily on nectar taken from the small flowers of various brightly coloured, fragrant trees, herbs, shrubs, and epiphytes. They prefer flowers with a high sugar content (often red and tubular).

Hermits are “trap-line feeding” hummingbirds. This means they visit plants over long distances (up to 0.6 miles or 1 km). Most hummingbird species maintain feeding territories in areas that contain their favourite plants (those with high-energy nectar flowers) and will aggressively defend these territories.

The long, extendable, straw-like tongues of hermits are well-adapted for extracting nectar from deep flowers. They often feed by hovering with their tails as they lick up nectar 13 times per second. Sometimes they can be seen hanging on a flower while feeding.

Many native and cultivated plants on whose flowers these birds forage rely heavily on them for pollination. Most tubular flowers deter most bees and butterflies from feeding on them and pollinating the plants.

They may also visit local hummingbird feeders for sugar water, or drink outside at bird baths or water fountains where they sip water that flows over the edge. Or they will sit on the bank and drink – like all the other birds. However, they only live for a short time.

They also take some small spiders and insects – important sources of protein that are essential to ensure the proper growth of their young, especially during the breeding season. Insects are often caught in flight (hawking); Extracted from leaves or twigs, or taken from spider webs. A nesting female can harbour up to 2,000 insects a day.

Males establish feeding territories, where they aggressively chase other males as well as larger insects – such as beetles and hawkmoths – that want to feed in their territory. They use aerial flights and threatening displays to defend their territories.

Hook-billed Hermit
Hook-billed Hermit

Cool Facts about Hook-billed Hermit

1. Hook-billed Hermit are usually between 4.7 – 5.4 inches (12 – 13.7 cm). Females are usually slightly larger than males. It has a nearly straight bill, with a small hook at the tip (hence its common name). The upper bill is black and the lower bill is yellowish-white. The legs are yellow.

2. This dull-coloured hummingbird has metallic greenish-bronze upper plumage (including the top of its head). The under plumage is cinnamon-coloured.

3. The face is black except for a white stripe starting behind the eyes, from the cheeks to the shoulders.

4. The tail is bronze-green with a rufous base for the other tail feathers and a darker band near the tip of the tail. Only males have yellow/white tail markings.

5. Gender Identification: The female is slightly larger than the male. Only males have yellow (white) tail markings.

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