Bird of the Week, August 12, 2011
Royal Sunangel


Royal Sunangel by John Paul Perret

 

The iridescent, dark indigo, fork-tailed male Royal Sunangel is a striking hummingbird, only discovered in 1975 in northern Peru. The female looks very different from the male, with dark green upper parts, green-spotted, cinnamon under parts with a broad, pale breast-band, and a blue-black tail.

 

The Royal Sunangel is most often seen along brushy slopes and steep ravine banks bordering shrubby, moist forest edge, often in areas regularly disturbed by fire. Sadly, the bird is decreasing throughout its already-limited range because of ongoing habitat loss and alteration caused by human activities, mostly the ongoing clearing of land for agriculture.

 

The Royal Sunangel and other threatened birds are protected at Abra Patricia in the Peruvian Andes, where ABC and its partner ECOAN are protecting approximately 24,000 acres. This hummingbird is frequently seen near the head of the “Royal Sunangel Trail” close to the Owlet Lodge in the reserve.

 

Birdwatchers interested in visiting Abra Patricia can find out more information at ECOAN’s website and ConservationBirding.org.

 

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