Sword-billed Hummingbird

Information about the Bird Sword-billed Hummingbird

The sword-billed hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) is a species of hummingbird from South America and the sole member of the genus Ensifera. It is found in the higher elevations (mostly above 2500 meters) in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

The genus and species name ensifera ("sword-wielder") is derived from Latin ensis (sword) and ferre (to carry), and refers to this hummingbird's remarkable beak length.
It is noted as the only species of bird to have a bill longer than the rest of its body. This adaptation is to feed on flowers with long corollas such as Passiflora mixta. The tongue is therefore also unusually long.
Since the sword-billed hummingbird's beak is very long, it preens itself with its feet. From base of the bill to the tail tip, this species averages 14cm (5.5in) in length, not counting the 10cm (4in)+ bill. This hummingbird weighs about 10-15g (0.35-0.53oz) and is one of the largest species of hummingbirds.

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