IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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Biology

Very little has been documented about the biology of the golden-bellied starfrontlet, but much can be inferred from what are well known characteristics of the hummingbird family generally. Hummingbirds are solitary animals, only coming together to breed. Mating is polygynous and males attract mates using song, iridescent plumage and dramatic display flights. Females are responsible for all the nest-building, incubation and post-hatching parental care. The clutch size typically consists of two eggs, and incubation usually lasts 16 to 19 days. Female hummingbirds can have two broods per year when conditions permit and will re-nest if a brood is lost (5). The golden-bellied starfrontlet is known to breed between January and July (2). Hummingbirds feed on nectar and insects, with around 90 % of their diet coming from nectar. In addition to possessing specialised bills adapted to exploiting nectar sources, hummingbirds have also developed a unique flight structure that allows them to hover in front of flowers while feeding and even fly backwards. With the flowers unable to maintain the hummingbirds' weight, these birds would be unable to feed on nectar without this incredible ability to hover (5). Flowers visited by the golden-bellied starfrontlet for nectar include Bomarea, Cavendishia, Fuchsia, Macleania, Mutisia and Palicourea. Insects are also taken from the air, and arthropods gleaned from plant surfaces (2).

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Source: ARKive

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