A tiny yet brightly-coloured hummingbird, the sapphire-bellied hummingbird (Lepidopyga lilliae) gets its name from the glittering sapphire-blue plumage on the underside of the male, which becomes a darker iridescent purple towards the bill. The male has dark blue-black plumage on the lower parts of the wing and on the distinctly forked tail (2)
The male and female sapphire-bellied hummingbird are similar in appearance, but the female will often have duller feathers overall. Both the male and female sapphire-bellied hummingbird have shiny blue-green plumage on the back, but the female has grey, thickly spotted plumage on the underside. The female also has bluish feathers on the breast and flanks which fade towards the belly, becoming plain grey from the lower belly to the undertail coverts before fading into a green-black forked tail. Juvenile birds have the same appearance as the female. Both the male and the female have a straight bill measuring a few centimetres in length, which is black at the tip and on the upper mandible but red underneath (2)
The common name given to species in the Trochilidae family (hummingbirds) is derived from the characteristic humming sound made by their incredibly fast wing beats. Male hummingbirds use a monosyllabic high-pitched chirp to attract females while fluttering their feathers as part of a mating ritual. Unmelodious calls, often lasting less than a second, are uttered by both male and female hummingbirds between feeding probes or from exposed perches (4).
- Colibrí Ventrizafiro.
- Length: 9 cm (2)
- 4 g (2)