Hummingirds are some of the smallest birds in the world, with body weights ranging from 2 to 20 g. The smallest species is the Frilled Coquette (Lophornis magnificus) with orange crest and irridiscent plumage weighs only 1.7-2.8 g. He does look like a feathered jewel.
Coquette hummingbirds often perch on exposed twigs, and while in flight pump their tails up and down, in the same distinctive manners as woodstars. Because of their rump band, the birds often appear bee-like, and they are easily confused with similar-sized sphynx moths.
The Frilled Coquette feeds by extracting nectar from flowers with a long, divided, and grooved tongue mounted in a long, thin, tubular bill. It has a crop for nectar storage.
The nest is a small cup-like structure attached by spider webbing to a small often horizontal branch or twig as high as 6 m above the ground. The newly finished nest has vertical walls. The female presses in the lichen that she brings with the under side of the bill. With time, the nest becomes more voluminous at the base and the rim turns a bit outward. The incubation of the tiny Frilled Coquette requires only 12 to 13 days, the shortest incubation period reported for any hummingbird species.
The Frilled Coquette is widely distributed in Brazil from Alagoas and Espírito Santo to Rio Grande do Sul and west through Goiás to Mato Grosso.
Conservation status of the Frilled Coquette: Least Concern.
- The Hummingbirds of North America. Paul A. Johnsgard
- Building and incubation at a nest of frilled Coquettes. Yoshika Oniki & Edwin O. Willis