The Chilean woodstar is a small hummingbird. It has iridescent olive-green plumage and white underparts (2). Males are distinguished by their violet-red throat patch and both sexes possess short, black bills (2).
Little is known about the natural ecology of this small hummingbird. It is a solitary feeder and has been observed in gardens feeding on flowers of Lantana spp. and Hibiscus spp. (2). Nests containing eggs and chicks have been recorded in late August (2).
The highly restricted range of the Chilean woodstar represents a threat to its survival; the species is confined to just two valleys in northern Chile which are already heavily cultivated (2). Viable habitat for this species of hummingbird is therefore scarce.
Further research into the natural ecology of this species is urgently required in order to understand the nature of resources needed to sustain the population. Exports of hummingbirds from Peru and Chile are controlled (2) and this species is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) (3).
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