#49 Marvelous Spatuletail

Endangered

Last colour piece of Bird Week 2


These birds are endemic to Peru and live in the Amazon. They are tiny, only weighing up to 0.18 ounces. They just have the 4 tail feathers. The female doesn't have the long feathers like the male does. He uses them along with dancing while trying to attract a female. Habitat loss is their biggest threat. The Amazon where they live is expected to lose about 50% over 12 years. It is thought that there are as few as 250 mature birds, but possibly close to 1000. The number of males is lower than the number of females because the male is hunted. Supposedly their heart is an aphrodisiac when it is dried, and they are also sought for their feathers. Including the tail, these only get up to a little over 5 inches at the biggest, and their tail can be up to 4 times the length of their body.


I think we had hummingbirds nesting in our red bark curly willow we have. The willow is named Oscar, in case you wanted to know. Today he got a haircut. Yes, I know, that sounds silly, but we started it when my kids were very little. I really love that tree. It is quite beautiful and huge now. When we first moved in there was one of those purple leafed ornamental plum type trees. I can't remember what exactly it was. Though pretty when flowering in the spring, when it dropped the plums it made a huge mess and attracted yellow jackets. That is dangerous for me, but even more for my mom who has been stung before so her reaction is severe. I don't mind bees, though not right next to our front door. Yellow jackets or wasps though, attracting them to the front of our home is not a good idea. Having your mother run what is sort of a gauntlet of death in order to get into your home is not the best thing.

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