The Spatule Tail Hummingbird

The spatule tail hummingbird is one of these incredible species that can represent an entire region. Seeing one of the famous spatule tail hummingbirds in the northern Amazonas region is definitely an art.

On the Fernando Belaunde Terry road that leads east to the regions of San Martin, Moyobamba and Tarapoto, you can make a more instructive tour in Huembo.

Huembo, nature reserve to observe the hummingbird

About 20 kilometers eastbound of Pedro Ruiz, in a curve, is the entrance to the conservation area of 30 hectares.

affiche Huembo

It was created about 10 years ago and is managed by a NGO, Association for the Preservation of the Peruvian Nature ECOAN. This association aims to reforest the area with native species of the region and the return of some animal species.

falaise des chutes d'eau Yumbilla

The panorama is spectacular. Facing the cliff that is home to the waterfalls of Yumbilla, with 895 m height on of the highest in the world.

A very unusual spatule tail hummingbird

This part of the Amazon, as well as come surrounding villages, is known for hosting an endemic species of hummingbirds: the spatule tail hummingbird. The Latin name is certainly more exotic, but the translation from Spanish is exactly that: Spatule tail hummingbird.

The explanation is simple: The male of this species of hummingbird has at the end of its tail two funny appendages that increase its size by three !

This characteristic differentiates it from the female that is slightly smaller and it serves mainly to impress the latter during courtship. You can see how the males moves these two spatulas like a flag; an entire language appears with the movements of its tail.

It seems evident that with such attributes the male hummingbird can only impress the female. Its tail seems fragile and heavy at the same time for such a small animal.

See the spatuletail hummingbird in real

In Huembo you can see all kinds of species of hummingbirds, green, blue, big, small. However, the species that reigns here is the spatule tail hummingbird.

hummingbird belly blue

Thanks for the pause, my friend.

The easiest and fasted way is to take the ecological path and stop at the observatory or dining room. This is where you have all the hummingbird feeders. Results guaranteed. The place is full of hummingbirds competing for nectar prepared for them. (Note: in May and June this might be different. All the flowers are blooming and the hummingbirds eat out !)

For the famous spatule tail hummingbird, you have to be patient. But if you stay in place for some 20 minutes, you might have the opportunity to see at least 4 (or maybe it is the same that comes 4 times) ?

The place is gloomy, so you should have a good camera to capture on film the movement of this very fast little being. This unfortunately is not my case, I don´t see the spatulas on my pictures.

hummingbird tail of spatula

Therefore, I show you a picture of our professional photographer friend Michell León, where we can see our little friend splendidly.

Some films are waiting for you on the internet, especially where you can see the dance that makes our Don Juan cola de spatula.  Have a look here.

If you need some rest from the hummingbirds, Huembo has also a beautiful orchid garden.

Amazonas, an exceptional natural region

Just to remind you – this hummingbird is endemic in the region. This means you could not see it if you don’t come to visit the Amazonas region ! More precisely near the Uctubamba river in northern Peru.

Yes, our region is also blessed for birders, since we count some 900 species of the over 1,800 in the whole country.

When we know that in the world there are about 10.000 species, we realize that Peru alone in its territory has almost 20 % of the known species on our planet Earth. Exceptional !

Even better – of the 105 endemic species in the country, 40 are in the north ! Of course, our little friend the hummingbird is one of them. Its rarity makes it at the same time an endangered species.

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