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Ruby Topaz Hummingbird

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Ruby-topaz Hummingbird - Male              Photo by Ian Esland

Found on both Trinidad and Tobago, this aggressive resident hummingbird is seen in gardens, open areas and at the edges of the forest edge. The bill is short and slightly decurved. The male has ruby red feathers on the crown and nape with a narrow black band from the eyes to the nape. The upperparts are dark brown with a green tinge. The tail is chestnut with a black tip. The throat is golden or orange and the rest of the underparts are brown.

Females are different from the males with no ruby red on the crown. The upperparts are green with a heavy copper tinge. The underparts are part gray with a dark stripe from chin to breast. The tail feathers are chestnut tipped white. The immature are similar to the female. The size of both is approximately 3.5 inches and weight is approximately 3.9 grams.

This nectar feeder particularly likes the flowers of the Samaan tree and the ixora plant and generally feeds alone. It attempts to guard patches of flowers bringing it into conflict with the Copper-rumped Hummingbird and the white-chested emerald. Apart from nectar, it also eats insects including spiders and wasps.

At the perch the males often spread their tail and ruffle their crown feathers in a display.

Family - Hummingbirds

Latin Name - Chrysolampis mosquitus

Range - Colombia, Central & Southern Brazil, Venezuela, the Guianas, Aruba, Trinidad and Tobago

Click on this link for additional information on Hummingbirds


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Ruby-topaz Hummingbird - Female    

Photograph courtesy Ron Teel



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Bon Accord, Tobago

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All photographs (unless otherwise stated) are the property of Brian Ramsey. No portion of the material on this site, including the photographs, may be reproduced without the express written consent of Outdoor Business Group Limited and Brian Ramsey. The permission of the other owners of the photographs must also be obtained for use.   

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Last modified: February 16, 2008