Booted Racket-Tail - Francesca Longo

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Francesca Longo



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Booted Racket-Tail

Ocreatus underwoodii

The Booted Racket-Tail (Ocreatus underwoodii) is a species of hummingbird. It is found in wet forest in subtropical and temperate Andean cordillera of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. This is the only species in the monotypic genus Ocreatus. 
It is usually seen between 1600 and 2200 metres of elevation, but it may occur from 600 up to 4000 metros. 
Males have a short blackish bill, metallic green body, greyish-bronze wings and elaborate tail. It is deeply forked increasing their feathers in length and the last two ones ending in bare shafts with blue-black racquets, which gives the species its name. The leg puffs are white.
During courtship rites, the female enjoys the flights of the claimants, during which these long plumes are shaken up and down and produce a whistling sound similar to that of a whip.
This hummingbird feeds on nectar from several flowers’ species and catches insects while flying. As other Trochilidae species, it is able to hover in all directions and flies easily in spite of the long tail.
Overnight, as many other hummingbirds, this species is able to reduce the body temperature up to the value of that environment; this ploy allows them to save energy and survive the cold of the night.


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