Stripe-Throated Hermit

One of the great curiosities of the hummingbird world is that not all species really seem to be members of this family, as happens to the Stripe-Throated Hermit.

Is it known?

It is a species of hummingbird known by the scientific name phaethornis striigularis and is endemic to Central and northeastern South America. Quite common to see for the countries of the continent.

phaethornis striigularis

It lives in a wide range of wooded habitats, such as forests, woodlands, clearings, scrub and gardens, preferring mainly wetlands. But it can also be seen in dry regions and deciduous habitats.

Is it so common to see?

It measures about 10 cm and weighs about 3 grams maximum. It is one of the smallest species of hermits. The dry ones are physically identical, but when they are young they have a pale reddish color on their backs.

The wing covers, mantle, nape and crown are pale tomasol green. The rump is reddish with a little white, the belly and flanks are beige, and the central part and throat are greyish-brown, with small dark spots.

strip throated hermit hummingbird

The face has a blackish border, with a “bandit mask” above the white-beige highlights. Below the cheek it has the same color. The flight feathers and tails are blackish, with a whitish-ochaceous tip, depending on the specimen.

Perhaps one of the ways to differentiate the sexes is through their singing, as the male has a high-pitched, squeaky, monotonous song that can be easily heard. Although many consider it a species of their own, some believe that this is a subspecies of the small hermit.

What is their life like in freedom?

Like most hummingbirds, the Stripe-Throated Hermit feeds on flower nectar through the lining trap, but also pierces flower bases when nectar is out of reach. Sometimes it can feed on small insects, from which it gets the protein it needs to live, but very rarely.

Males are generally quite solitary, except when mating time approaches. In this case, they sing to attract the females and make some very curious flights. Females build a cup-shaped nest made of plants coupled with spider webs. The female lays two eggs, which are incubated by her for 16 days. When they are born, the female is the one who takes care of their maintenance until they have completed the four weeks of life they are already trying to leave the nest for the first time. The first few days, the children return to the nest at night, after exploring the surroundings, but within a week they leave to live on their own.

Generally, this is not a species that is aggressive with the rest of the birds that may be in the environment. However, it has been found that during the rutting season and when some other bird approaches its food source it can become very aggressive. He doesn’t like it when another bird comes near the flowers he usually keeps an eye on, especially when he’s in the middle of a rut.

When she lives in gardens, she doesn’t mind people hanging around, but she doesn’t like to be disturbed or watched. There have been few cases of this species attacking humans.

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