The Brilliant Coppery Metaltail: An Enchanting Hummingbird of the Andes

The Andes mountain range is the epitome of natural beauty, with its vast stretches of lush green valleys and towering peaks. Nestled within this breathtaking landscape is the home of one of the most magnificent avian species – the Coppery Metaltail. This vibrant hummingbird, with its dazzling coppery red body, is truly a sight to behold. Let's take a closer look at this charming bird and uncover its fascinating features Coppery Metaltail.

Scientific Classification

The Coppery Metaltail belongs to the kingdom Animalia, meaning it is an animal, and to the phylum Chordata, indicating that it has a spinal cord. It is a member of the class Aves, as it possesses feathers and wings for flight. Within the Aves class, it is a part of the order Apodiformes, the swifts and hummingbirds, known for their remarkable aerial acrobatics. The Coppery Metaltail is a member of the family Trochilidae, which comprises more than 300 species of hummingbirds, each with its unique characteristics and beauty.

Habitat and Distribution

The Coppery Metaltail is native to the Andes mountain range of Peru and Bolivia, where it can be found in the cloud forests and montane scrub areas. These birds are highly adapted to living in the high altitudes of the Andes, with altitudes ranging from 7,500 to 12,000 feet. They are often spotted in the misty cloud forests, flitting between the branches of trees and shrubs. These birds prefer dense vegetation and can also be found in areas with bamboo and ferns.

Eating Habits

The diet of the Coppery Metaltail primarily consists of nectar from flowers and small insects Chestnut Flanked Sparrowhawk. They have elongated beaks and tongues specially designed to extract nectar from flowers. The hummingbird's fast metabolism requires it to feed frequently, and they often visit up to 1,500 flowers in a single day. They show a preference for red and orange flowers, which are rich in nectar, but they also feed on white and blue flowers. Apart from nectar, they also feed on small insects such as gnats, flies, and spiders, which provide them with essential proteins and fats.

Feeding Method

To extract nectar from flowers, the Coppery Metaltail uses a unique feeding method called hovering and gleaning. They can remain stationary in mid-air, beating their wings at an incredible rate of 50-80 times per second, and use their long beaks to reach deep into the flowers. They also use their feet to hold onto the flower while feeding, adding to their extraordinary aerial abilities. While hunting for insects, they hover and capture their prey with a quick hit-and-run technique.

Appearance and Physical Characteristics

The Coppery Metaltail is a small and compact bird, measuring around 9cm in length and weighing between 3-4g. Its distinguishing feature is its iridescent coppery red plumage, which is most prominent on its throat, chest, and belly. Its wings and tail are a darker shade of brown, almost black, with green and bronze tints. The male Coppery Metaltail has a black band on its throat, while the female has a white band. They both have long, pointed beaks and relatively short tails, as compared to other hummingbird species.

Behavior and Nests

The Coppery Metaltail is a solitary bird, and they are very territorial. They can often be seen chasing away other birds who come near their feeding areas. These hummingbirds are most active during daylight hours, and they have a distinct territorial display, where they vocalize and fan out their tail feathers to assert their dominance. During mating season, the male Coppery Metaltail performs a spectacular courtship display, where he flies upwards and then dives down at an incredible speed, creating a loud whistling sound. The female builds her nest using plant fibers and camouflages it with moss, lichen, and ferns, creating a secure shelter for her eggs and chicks.

Conservation Efforts

The Coppery Metaltail is listed as a species of Least Concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, meaning that their population is stable and not facing any immediate threats. However, their numbers have decreased due to habitat destruction and fragmentation caused by human activities, such as deforestation, mining, and agriculture. To protect these beautiful creatures, conservation efforts are ongoing, focusing on creating and maintaining protected areas and promoting sustainable farming practices.

The Coppery Metaltail in Culture and Art

As one of the most striking birds of the Andes, the Coppery Metaltail has been a part of many cultural and artistic representations. In the Andean culture, hummingbirds are seen as symbols of love, peace, and good luck. They are often depicted in traditional artwork and textiles, representing the harmony between humans and nature. The Coppery Metaltail has also captured the attention of many bird watchers and nature enthusiasts worldwide, who admire its vibrant colors and unique behaviors.

In conclusion, the Coppery Metaltail is a remarkable bird that adds to the enchanting beauty of the Andes mountains. Its striking coppery red plumage, incredible aerial abilities, and fascinating behaviors make it a delight to observe and admire. With its habitat and population at risk, it is crucial to continue efforts to conserve and protect these magnificent creatures, ensuring that future generations can continue to marvel at their brilliance.

Coppery Metaltail

Coppery Metaltail


Bird Details Coppery Metaltail - Scientific Name: Metallura theresiae

  • Categories: Birds C
  • Scientific Name: Metallura theresiae
  • Common Name: Coppery Metaltail
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Apodiformes
  • Family: Trochilidae
  • Habitat: Cloud forest and montane scrub
  • Eating Habits: Nectar and small insects
  • Feeding Method: Hovering and gleaning
  • Geographic Distribution: Andes of Peru and Bolivia
  • Country of Origin: Peru and Bolivia
  • Location: Cloud forests in Andes
  • Color: Coppery red
  • Body Shape: Small and compact

Coppery Metaltail

Coppery Metaltail


  • Length: 9-10 cm
  • Adult Size: Small
  • Age: Unknown
  • Reproduction: Sexual
  • Reproduction Behavior: Male performs courtship flights
  • Migration Pattern: Non-migratory
  • Social Groups: Solitary or in small groups
  • Behavior: Active and agile
  • Threats: Habitat loss and fragmentation
  • Conservation Status: Near Threatened
  • Unique Features: Long, curved bill and iridescent plumage
  • Fun Facts: This bird is named after Empress Elisabeth of Austria
  • Reproduction Period: Not specified
  • Hive Characteristics: Cup-shaped nest made of plant material
  • Lifespan: Not specified

The Brilliant Coppery Metaltail: An Enchanting Hummingbird of the Andes

Metallura theresiae


The Coppery Metaltail: A Small but Mighty Bird

Deep within the lush forests of South America, lies a small and elusive bird known as the Coppery Metaltail. Despite its small size and unassuming appearance, this bird possesses a unique combination of traits that make it a fascinating subject for researchers and bird enthusiasts alike.

With its scientific name of Metallura theresiae, this charming creature belongs to the family Trochilidae, commonly known as hummingbirds. Found in the Andean regions of Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador, the Coppery Metaltail measures only 9-10 cm in length and has a distinctively small adult size DatuSarakai.Com. Although its age is unknown, this bird has gained attention for its interesting behavioral patterns and unique features.

One of the most striking features of the Coppery Metaltail is its long, curved bill. This bill is perfectly adapted for obtaining nectar from the flowers it feeds on. As a pollinator, this bird plays an important role in maintaining the delicate balance of ecosystems in its habitat.

But it’s not just its long bill that sets it apart, the Coppery Metaltail also boasts iridescent plumage which shimmers in the sunlight. Their feathers give off a coppery hue, hence their name, and are frequently seen with bright green, blue, and purple tones. This makes them a true sight to behold when seen flying among the colorful flowers of their home.

But what truly makes the Coppery Metaltail unique is its interesting reproduction behavior. As a sexually reproducing bird, the male performs elaborate courtship flights to attract a mate Cinereous Tyrant. These flights involve intricate moves and precise flight patterns, accompanied by high-pitched vocalizations, to show off their agility and strength. Once a mate has been secured, the female will lay eggs in a cup-shaped nest made of plant material, commonly found in the branches of trees or shrubs. This makes for an ideal camouflage to protect the eggs and young from predators.

Although there is no specific mention of the reproduction period for Coppery Metaltails, their migration pattern is known to be non-migratory. They are found in the same areas year-round, making them a consistent part of the ecosystem, and allowing researchers to study them more closely.

Unfortunately, like many species today, the Coppery Metaltail faces several threats to its survival. The most pressing being habitat loss and fragmentation due to deforestation and urbanization. Hummingbirds are dependent on well-preserved habitats with a diverse range of flowering plants, and any changes to their environment can severely impact their survival. As their numbers continue to decline, the Coppery Metaltail has been classified as "Near Threatened" on the IUCN Red List, warning of their potential extinction if conservation efforts are not taken.

Despite all the challenges they face, the Coppery Metaltail remains an active and agile bird, often seen hovering mid-air as it feeds on nectar. They are solitary birds, but can sometimes be spotted in small groups, foraging together. Their social groups are not well-studied, and it remains a mystery how and why they interact with each other.

Interestingly, this bird has a unique claim to fame - it is named after Empress Elisabeth of Austria, also known by her nickname "Sisi". Empress Elisabeth was an avid collector of natural history and donated over 26,000 bird specimens to the Natural History Museum in Vienna. The Coppery Metaltail holds a special place in her collection, possibly due to its bright and colorful appearance, much like her own vibrant personality.

The lifespan of the Coppery Metaltail is not specified, but hummingbirds, in general, have relatively short lifespans. This makes it even more critical to conserve their habitats and ensure their survival.

In conclusion, the Coppery Metaltail may seem like a small and unassuming bird at first glance, but its unique features and intriguing characteristics make it a fascinating subject of study. From its long, curved bill to its iridescent plumage and elaborate courtship flights, this bird has captured the hearts of many and continues to charm its way into the natural world. While their numbers may be dwindling, with proper conservation efforts and awareness, we can all play a part in ensuring the dazzling Coppery Metaltail continues to grace the forests with its presence for future generations to enjoy.

Metallura theresiae

The Brilliant Coppery Metaltail: An Enchanting Hummingbird of the Andes


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