Genus Ramphomicron Bonap.

Near the members of the genus Oxypogon are the various species of Ramphomicron, another bearded group, but differing in the total absence of any lengthened plumes on the crown, and in the structure and colour of the pendent chin-feathers. It will only be necessary to glance at the plates on which these species are depicted to perceive that, though they bear a general resemblance to the Oxypogons, they are generically distinct from them. Their short and feeble bills indicate that they feed on a similar kind of insect food; and we know that such flowers as those of Sida and other plants with open corollas are frequently visited for the insects which abound therein.

It is said that the members of this genus fly with great rapidity, and that, like flashes of light, they are constantly dashing about the hill-sides from one flower to another. It must be extremely interesting to watch the aérial movements of these comparatively large birds among the lofty regions they frequent, and where the air is so pure and rarefied. In all the hilly countries, from the Caribbean Sea southward to Bolivia, are the members of this genus to be obtained; in the neighbourhood of Bogota one of them is very common: this bird (the R. heteropogon) extends its range from thence to about the latitude of Popayan, while the little R. microrhynchum is equally abundant in New Granada and Ecuador. At Quito, or around those towering mountains immediately under the equator, we find the R. Stanleyi and R. Herrani; while Bolivia gives us the R. Vulcani and the R. ruficeps.

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