Genus Chalybura Reichenb.

How remarkable it is that development and even beauty should be bestowed upon the under tail-coverts of a bird! yet this is often found to be the case: the Marabou Stork may be cited as an instance in point among the larger birds, and the genera Eriocnemis, Erythronota, &c. among the Trochilidæ. In no group, however, is this feature so conspicuously marked as in the members of the succeeding genus Chalybura; there it is carried to its maximum, and is rendered so much the more apparent from the striking contrast of the snow-white-plumed under tail-coverts with the dark or black colouring of the tail-feathers. These birds form a very natural section of the Trochilide. Venezuela, New Granada, and Panama may be regarded as their head quarters,—two of the species, C. Buffoni and C. cæruleogaster, being frequently sent in collections from Bogota.

Although the sexes of this genus of birds are very differently coloured, the females have the plumed under tail-coverts as well as the males.


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Featuring all 422 illustrated species from John Gould’s A Monograph of the Trochilidæ, or Family of Humming-Birds arranged by color.