Phaëthornis fraterculus

Allied Hermit

Cayenne and the neighbouring countries

In figuring this bird in the present monograph, I do not insist that it is a new species, or that it is by any means rare; on the contrary, scarcely a single collection arrives from Cayenne and the neighbouring countries which does not comprise examples of it.

Still I cannot find that it has been described; and that it has not been is also the opinion of M. Bourcier, of Paris; and the only question in our minds is whether it can possibly be the female, or one or other sex of the P. malaris (P. superciliosus of this work). If this should ultimately prove to be the case, a similar disparity in the size of the sexes does not occur in any other species. Having said thus much, I leave the investigation of the subject to those ornithologists who may hereafter write on the subject, or to those who may have opportunities for observing the bird in a state of nature.

I ought to mention that, besides the great difference in size, the P. fraterculus differs in having a somewhat more curved bill than P. malaris.

Crown of the head greyish brown; upper surface and wing-coverts bronzy green; lower part of the back and upper tail-coverts paler and with a crescent of deep brown near the tip of each feather; above and below the eye a stripe of yellowish buff; the interspace, or ear-coverts and lores, brownish black; wings purplish brown; throat grey with a stripe of light buff down the centre; the under surface clouded in some specimens with grey; sides of the neck and under tail-coverts pale buffy white; tail-feathers glaucous green at the base, brownish black in the middle and tipped with an arrow-head-shaped mark of white; the apical half of the two middle feathers white; upper mandible and tip of the under mandible black, the remaining portion of the latter being yellowish or flesh-colour; feet yellowish brown.

The figures are of the size of life. The plant is the Angræcum funale.

More hummingbirds in the genus Phaëthornis

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