Home Nature Birds Marvelous Spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis)

Marvelous Spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis)

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Marvelous Spatuletail
Marvelous spatuletail normally found in Northern Peru, in the Utcubamba valley
Description – Marvelous spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis) is a unique, and remarkable hummingbird, that is named for the male’s unusual tail, which is formed by just two pairs of feathers. In popular culture, the gorgeous bird has been featured in several TV nature shows, i.e., PBS TV Series, BBC TV series Natural World, and BBC television series life Episode “Birds” in 2009.
In 1835, this hummingbird was first reported by Andrew Mathews for George Loddiges. Occurring only in northern Peru, the species has a population of fewer than 1,500 individuals. Marvelous Spatuletail is sexually dimorphic, which is the only member of the genus loddigesia.
In 1835, this hummingbird was first reported by Andrew Mathews for George Loddiges. Occurring only in northern Peru,
In 1835, this hummingbird was first reported by Andrew Mathews for George Loddiges. Occurring only in northern Peru. Photo by Max Waugh Photography on Flickr
Identification – The male marvelous spatuletail is a unique bird in having four feathers in its tail, two long racquet-shaped outer tail feathers that cross each other and end in large violet-blue discs or “spatules”. The central pair is slender and straight, while the outer pair is much longer, threadlike, outswept, and tipped with round violet “spatules.”
Their dance and flutter around the bird during his dashing courtship flight which he waves and crosses in wild patterns to entice the mate. The female has a shorter, blunt tail, and lacks the male’s blue crest and shining green throat. Males display in leks, competing for the females’ attention.
Adult males are particularly scarce, partly because they are targeted by local hunters. About 100 acres (40 hectares) of the bird’s habitat near Pomacocha village is now protected as a nature reserve, where it can be seen at feeding stations. Surveying to search for other populations is a priority, as is finding ways to reduce hunting.
Marvelous Spatuletail
Marvelous spatuletail is normally found in Northern Peru, in the Utcubamba valley. Photo Credit – Carlos Calle
DISTRIBUTION – Marvelous spatuletail normally found in Northern Peru, in the Utcubamba valley
HABITAT – Forest edges, thick scrubland; 6,900–9,500 ft (2,100–2,900 m)
SIZE Length: 37⁄8–57⁄8 in (10–15 cm). Weight: 5 g
STATUS – Due to habitat loss, small population size, and restricted range, this hummingbird is at a high risk of extinction in the wild, hence it is evaluated as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. To revive the population of Marvelous Spatuletail, more than 30,000 saplings of native bushes and trees and planted in Peru with the help of the American Bird Conservancy.
Read More – Distinctive Stripe-tailed Hummingbird
The Marvelous spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis) is a unique, and remarkable hummingbird, that is named for the male’s unusual tail.
The Marvelous spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis) is a unique, and remarkable hummingbird, that is named for the male’s unusual tail.

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