Buffy Helmetcrest (Oxypogon stuebelii)

The Buffy Helmetcrest is a hummingbird species that’s native to the Nevado del Ruiz Paramo and is found on a really limited range, being endemic to Colombia. Since they live at altitudes above 4,000 meters above sea level, where oxygen content is low and temperatures are close to 0 degrees celsius, they can’t flap their wings as fast as other hummers, and they prefer to perch on branches while they drink a flower’s nectar. There are four species of Oxypogon, each one inhabiting the paramo region of a different peak. Frailejones flowers are among the common energy sources for them.

Buffy Helmetcrest - Oxypogon stuebelii - Barbudito Canelo (2)

Oxypogon’s live above 3500 meters above the sea level, in the Paramo region. The low oxygen content and cold temperature causes them to be the slowest of all hummingbirds.

Buffy Helmetcrest - Oxypogon stuebelii - Barbudito Canelo

They also prefer to perch instead of hovering while feeding on flowers, to conserve precious energy and oxygen.

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