Birds Species

White-throated Daggerbill History and 5 Best Facts

White-throated Daggerbill

The White-throated daggerbill, white-throated wedgebill, or western wedgebill hummingbird (Schistes albogularis) is a species of bird hummingbird in the family Trochilidae. It is found in Colombia and Ecuador.


A fairly small hummingbird Varieties is found on the western slopes of the Andes from central Colombia to southwestern Ecuador. Both sexes are mostly green, with short, straight bills. The male has a green throat and crown with purple spots on the sides of the neck and a strong broken white collar. Females have a white throat. unclear; At about 800-2,000 m, look for singles in foothills and subtropical forests and on flower patches under banks.


The White-throated daggerbill is 8.6 to 9.3 cm (3.4 to 3.7 in) long and weighs 3.5 to 4.1 g (0.12 to 0.14 oz). It gets its name from the tip of its bill, which is very narrow and sharply pointed. Both sexes are usually green. Males have a bright green forehead, violet-blue spots on the sides of the throat that can extend well into the face, a white stripe on the upper chest, and a small white spot behind the eye.

Range and habitat

The White-throated daggerbill lives in the tropical montane forest and jungle regions of the Andes Mountains in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Its altitudinal range extends from about 1500-3000 meters above sea level.

Within these montane forests, the dagger prefers forest edges, clearings, river banks, and flowery areas. It is also found in agricultural lands and gardens near forests. The species occurs in both wet montane forests on the eastern slopes of the Andes and dry temperate forests in the west.

Food and diet

Like all hummingbird Varieties, the White-throated daggerbill subsists primarily on nectar taken from flowering plants. Its long bill allows it to access nectar from tube-like flowers that have deep corollas. Some of the important sources of nectar include plants of the Bromeliads, Ericaceae, Gesneriaceae, and Heliconiaceae families.

Daggers also sometimes repel small insects, including flies and spiders. It uses its specialized tongue to catch insects in mid-air. The proportion of insects in the diet increases during the breeding season when high levels of protein are important for egg production and chick growth.

Unique adaptation

White-throated Daggerbill
White-throated Daggerbill

Its compact, thick body shape minimizes exposure to the elements and heat loss. Thick plumage layers also provide effective insulation.

A slower, more measured wingbeat (about 12 beats per second compared to 50 for small hummingbirds) conserves energy in the thin air of high mountains. When the temperature drops at night, the lizard enters a state of torpor to conserve energy.

Behavior and breeding

Their characteristic display involves fanning the colorful tail and hovering in front of an intruder and uttering shrill chirp notes. Rival males may also close bills and engage in mid-air fights over territory disputes.

During the breeding season, male kangaroos display elaborate courtship displays to attract females. These include flying in wide circles and vertical figure-eights while singing a high-pitched Twitter song.

Nesting occurs throughout the range from March to June. The compact, cup-shaped nest is built using plant fibers and moss that the Forest birds collect while perching. It is placed in a shelter such as on a tree branch, in a crevice, or under an overhang.

The female lays only two small white eggs which she incubates alone for about 16-19 days. Chicks are reared by the female with the help of the male. They fledge after about 25-30 days in the nest.


The song of the white-throated daggerbill is “a series of two different high-pitched notes, ‘tsit…seet…tsit…seet…’, at an irregular pace”.


The IUCN has assessed the white-throated daggerbill as Least Concern. Although its population size is not known to be stable. It is considered locally rare and occurs in several protected areas.

Cool Facts about White-throated Daggerbill

1. The White-throated daggerbill is solitary and territorial, with males in particular aggressively defending their flower-rich territories. 

2. The long bill of this species of bird is an obvious adaptation for feeding on long-tubed Andean highland flowers.

3.  A slight upward bend of the bill allows it to examine flowers more effectively.

4.  Females do not have bright foreheads, throat spots are smaller and mostly blue, and do not have white throat markings.

5. The White-throated daggerbill marmot has several physiological and behavioral adaptations that allow it to thrive in the cold, high-altitude environment of the Andes Mountains.