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Hillstar
File:Andean Hillstar (Oreotrochilus estella) perched.jpg
female Andean Hillstar (Oreotrochilus estella)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Oreotrochilus
Gould, 1847

The hillstars are several species of hummingbirds from the genus Oreotrochilus (the single species from the genus Urochroa is also called hillstar). These highly territorial hummingbirds are found in temperate and alpine grassland, scrub and woodland at altitudes of 1,200 to 5,200 metres (3,900 to 17,000 ft) in the Andes of South America, with the various species having largely allopatric distributions.

Description

They have a total length of approximately 13 centimetres (5.1 in) and a fairly long, slightly decurved black bill. They are sexually dimorphic, with the male having an iridescent green throat (bluish-purple in the Ecuadorian Hillstar), dull greenish upperparts, black central underparts (brown in the Andean Hillstar), paler flanks, and a dark tail with a contrasting white pattern (the pattern is cinnamon in the Wedge-tailed Hillstar, while the tail is entirely dark in the Black-breasted Hillstar). The females are duller, have a whitish throat densely spotted with green, white, buff or cinnamon underparts, and a dark tail with a contrasting white pattern.

Taxonomy

The Green-headed Hillstar is sometimes treated as a subspecies of the Andean Hillstar. Formerly, the Ecuadorian and White-sided Hillstars were also treated as subspecies of the Andean Hillstar.



References


Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.



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