Great Sapphirewing (Pterophanes cyanopterus)

The Great Sapphirewing is a very large hummingbird with glittering colors. We saw both the male and female at Termales del Ruiz, which is above the 3,000 meters over sea level mark. At this altitude, oxygen content is low, meaning that the birds do not spend as much time on the flight and frequently perch to conserve energy, specially with such a large size. Their wing beat is relatively slow as well. The male on this species has a green body, but the chest glows with blue tonalities as light changes, an iridescence phenomenon. The wing is metallic blue, both on the upper and the lower side. The female is very similar, however the chest, belly and throat are cinnamon in coloration. Both have a very long and narrow bill, and a white postocular spot.

Great Sapphirewing, Female - Pterophanes cyanopterus - Alizafiro Grande. Hembra

This is a high altitude hummingbird species, and a relatively large one. The female is differentiated from the male by the cinammon belly and throat.

Great Sapphirewing, Male - Pterophanes cyanopterus - Alizafiro Grande. Macho (2)

The wing coloration explains very easily the English and Spanish names. Males also have sapphire colors in the chest.

Great Sapphirewing, Male - Pterophanes cyanopterus - Alizafiro Grande. Macho

Their bill is black and thin, and relatively large. They also have a white postocular spot.

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