The crimson topaz is one of the most beautiful species of hummingbirds in the world. Belonging to the Trochilidae family, they are found in South American forests of southern Brazil, Venezuela, Surinam and Guyana. Having a Least Concern status, the breeding season starts from January to July, where females lay two eggs that are incubated in cup-shaped nests. The males are brighter, bigger, and weigh more in size than the females. The wings, plumage, and feathers are distinctly colored with shades of metallic orange-red, green, golden, and crimson red. These birds of Brazil nest atop tall trees both on and off the breeding season and feed on plant-based nectar. While the male guards the nest against foreign intruders native to the forests of Brazil, the female builds its nest and nourishes the offspring for three weeks during the breeding season and the nest is often bigger in size than the female.
The crimson topaz (Topaza pella) is a bird species that was first described by Carl Linnaeus (1758). It is a subspecies of hummingbirds, specifically known for its long tail and and dark-colored tail.
The crimson topaz bird species (Topaza pella) belongs to the class of Aves. These birds belong to the family of hummingbirds or Trochilidae.
The exact number of hummingbirds in this species is not known.
The crimson topaz lives in a range of South American countries like Amazon Brazil, southern Brazil, French Guiana, Venezuela, Surinam, Peru, Colombia, and Guyana.
The habitat range of this species of hummingbirds includes the tropical and subtropical moist lowland forest up to an altitude of 1700 ft (500 m). They are also found to live near the rivers and creeks of the evergreen rainforest. As they are mostly found atop the middle and upper canopy, these birds usually do not come down to the ground.
This Amazon rainforest bird, the crimson topaz, is a solitary bird species. They are not fond of flocking in large numbers. Neither does a pair of these birds stay together after mating in the breeding season.
Sufficient information is not available about the crimson topaz (Topaza pella) lifespan at present.
The breeding season of the crimson topaz occurs twice a year, one from January to April and another from July to November. To attract females, the males display their bright-colored throat and plumage and once the copulation is done, they part ways. The females weave a cup-shaped nest out of plant fibers, coating it with green moss to camouflage it on vines, shrubs, or trees 10-26 ft (3-8 m) above the ground. The female lays two to three eggs on the sticky nest and durable nest, incubating it for 14-23 days. The chicks are born blind and are fed small insects. They are nourished by the females for 21-23 days or three weeks after which they become independent. They mature sexually in the second year of their life, displaying a fully grown vibrant plumage.
At present, the crimson topaz (Topaza pella) is listed as a bird species of Least Concern. Their distribution throughout their habitat range is stable and it is away from the dangers of extinction.
The crimson topaz colors give them a distinct vibrant look. The tail feathers of the adult male are more colorful than the central feathers and are curved and crossed halfway down to the tip. The throat is metallic-yellowish green in color, with a lustrous golden brown to yellow tint in the center. Their plumage is red and reddish-orange in color, with an abdomen that has hints of red and purple. The wings are a mix of brown and bright crimson with golden-green upper tail feathers and bronze-green on the lower side. The bill is straight and long, enabling them to easily obtain nectar from a plant or to prey on insects. The crown and the head are black to blackish-brown with dark brown eyes. The legs are slim, short, and orange-brown. The adult females are shorter in size than the males and unlike the males, the females do not have a long tails. Their upper plumage is dark green and the underside has golden-green feathers.
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These vibrant birds are remarkably attractive because of their varied colors. From the crimson topaz wing to its bright golden-red-green plumage found across its fluffy feathery body, its features give this bird an adorable appearance. Their long, thin and sharp pointy bill and their orange-red throat make them a beautiful hummingbird species.
The calls of the crimson topaz are sharp and loud. They communicate with high-pitched chirping, chattering, and whistling. While their mating and defense calls are short chattering, they chatter repeatedly out of aggression when in danger or out of anger.
This medium-sized bird species differs in length between the male and female sexes. While the length of a male topaz range between 8.3-9.1 in (21-23 cm), that of a female range between 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm). When compared with other birds, the crimson topaz hummingbird size is two times bigger than a sparrow and five times smaller than an eagle.
Although the exact flight speed of these birds with dark tail feathers is not known, it can be said that they are medium-paced flyers.
Compared to the length of these medium-sized birds, the weight of an adult male is about 0.48 oz (13.6 g) and that of an adult female is about 0.38 oz (10.8 g).
There are no separate names assigned to crimson topaz males and females.
A few weeks old baby crimson topaz is known as a chick.
This hummingbird species follows an omnivorous diet. But their main source of food comes from the nectar obtained from plants and flowers. They mostly collect nectar from bright-colored and scented flowers found on the canopy of trees, shrubs, vines, and epiphytes of the forest. They rely on the Bromeliaceae and Ericaceae plants as they have greater sugar content. These birds also feed on red and tubular-shaped plants as those have richer sucrose content and are not usually savored by bees. The crimson topaz is also known to feed on insects for a protein-rich diet during the time of breeding in the forests. In the nest, a baby crimson topaz diet is mostly insectivorous, feeding on small spiders and beetles as they are born blind and cannot fly from the nest to search for nectar from trees.
The crimson topaz, a colorful hummingbird species, does not pose any danger to human beings and is neither poisonous. They are not dangerous to most animals, except the breeding females that prey on insects to feed the young chicks.
As these birds reside on the upper and middle canopy of vines, shrubs, and tall plants with flowers, they are hard to catch with the human eye. Also, it is best to leave them in their wild habitat as they will not be able to survive being caged at home. As most part of their diet includes nectar from flowers, it becomes difficult to feed them at home.
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The female topaz makes a good predator, catching around 2000 insects per day to feed its young one.
The three subspecies varieties of crimson topaz (Topaza pella) are pella, smaragdulus and microrhyncha, all found in the Amazonian forests.
Crimson topaz is also known as topaz hummers.
Patagona gigas (8.5 in (21.5 cm)) is the biggest hummingbird in the world.
The most unique feature about these birds is the range of bright and contrasting colors that they display. The mix of warm and cool colors like metallic orange-red, green, golden green, and purple running across its body with a black crown and head makes them look extremely beautiful.
The crimson topaz Latin name comes from Topaza pella, where Topaza is the genus of hummingbirds residing in the Amazonian rainforests, and 'pellus' or 'pella' means 'dark-colored'. Due to its dark-colored plumage marked with a range of vibrant and contrasting colors, it is one of the most beautiful hummingbird species. As most parts of its body are covered with crimson red, orange-red, metallic golden red colors, it is named the crimson topaz.
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