L. Reichenbach, 1849|
Hummingbird, Black‑hooded sunbeam, Andean hillstar, Bronze‑tailed comet, Wedge‑tailed hillstar
The red-tailed comet (Sappho sparganurus) is a medium-sized hummingbird belonging to the family Trochilidae.
The genus name refers to Sappho, an ancient Greek poet of Lesbos. The species name sparganus derives from the Greek words σπαργανόω and ουρά, meaning "decorated tail".
In at least part of its range it is known in the local Quechua language as Q'ori Kenti ("golden hummingbird"). It is called the picaflor cometa in Spanish.
Subspecies include:Sappho sparganurus sparganurus – northern and central Bolivia, occasionally in southern Peru
Sappho sparganurus sapho – from southern Bolivia to western Argentina and northern Chile
This species can be found in the central Andes of Bolivia and Argentina, in Chile and in Peru.
Common to frequent in the woodlands and scrub typical of the dry Interandean valles extended up into Polylepis forests, and into the shrubby transition zones to high elevation puna or the moister cloud forests. These hummingbirds live in arid scrub with cacti and Prosopis trees and in deciduous forests with Alnus and Podocarpus. It is frequently found around human habitation in agricultural areas, cities and towns.
Sappho sparganurus is one of the largest hummingbirds, and males reaching a length of 22 cm, females up to 15 cm. The plumage of males is largely green, with a shining gorget. The head is green, while the back and rump are reddish violet. The male has a deeply forked, spectacular, long, iridescent, golden-reddish tail, longer than the length of the body, while the female has a shorter reddish-bronze tail. The species has a hoarse chattery call.
Red-tailed comet Wikipedia