Fun Andean Emerald Facts For Kids

Abhijeet Modi
Jan 31, 2024 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
One of the interesting Andean emerald facts is that the male emerald has a blue crown and green upperparts.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.7 Min

The Andean emerald (Uranomitra franciae) is a species endemic to the Neotropics of South America. The Andean emerald is native to the Andes mountains which is how it gets its name. The countries covered in the geographic range of the Andean emerald include Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. The Andean emerald hummingbird is also found near the Amazon basin's Marañon drainage. This species of hummingbird is most likely to be seen near the edge of forest areas, dry and semi-humid areas, clearings, and woodlands. It favors elevations between 1,312-9,022 ft (400-2,750 m). The Andean emerald species of hummingbird is mostly a green and white bird. The upperparts are green and the underparts are snowy-white. Males have a blue-colored crown, whereas females have a green-colored crown. The Andean emerald also has a long bill. The IUCN has listed the Andean emerald species as one of Least Concern.

For more relatable content, check out these Senegal parrot fun facts and vermilion flycatcher facts for kids.

Andean Emerald Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Andean emerald?

The Andean emerald is a bird and a hummingbird.

What class of animal does an Andean emerald belong to?

The Andean emerald belongs to the Aves class of animals.

How many Andean emeralds are there in the world?

The exact number of Andean emerald birds in the world is unknown. This hummingbird species is fairly common within its geographic habitat range, but its populations have not been accurately counted.

Where does an Andean emerald live?

The Andean emerald is endemic to the continent of South America, more specifically to the Neotropics. It is native to the countries of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Guatemala. The Andean emerald is named this because this bird is most commonly seen within the Andes mountains in northern Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. This bird is also found near the Marañon drainage of the Amazon basin.

The Andean emerald has three subspecies and these birds all inhabit a specific part of the range. The U. f. franciae subspecies inhabits the central and northwest parts of Colombia, the U. f. viridiceps subspecies lives in west Ecuador and southwestern Colombia, and the U. f. cyanocollis is native to northern Peru.

What is an Andean emerald's habitat?

Andean emerald hummingbirds are found in different kinds of habitats in the Andes range such as the edge of forest areas, semi-humid areas, second-growth forests, dry areas, gardens, clearings, scrub, and woodland. This bird can be seen at elevations of 1,312-9,022 ft (400-2,750 m).

Whom do Andean emeralds live with?

Andean emeralds are mostly solitary hummingbirds. However, these birds are known to gather in feeding assemblies at flowering trees with other hummingbirds.

How long does an Andean emerald live?

The exact lifespan of Andean emerald hummingbirds is not known, but being hummingbirds, they may live for three to five years on average. Also, their generation time length is three and a half years.

How do they reproduce?

The Andean emerald species of hummingbird reproduces by mating and egg-laying. A male's only involvement is copulation and the pair bond does not last. A single male copulates with several females and performs a display of a U-shaped flight to attract the females. Females naturally have to mate with several males as well, however, the females do everything from nest-building to raising and feeding the chicks.

The female emerald builds a cup-shaped nest out of plant fibers. The outside of the nest has green moss to camouflage it. The nest is in a secure location like on a tree, a bush, or a shrub. The nest is lined with soft fibers, down feathers, and animal hair. Sticky materials like spider webs are used to strengthen the nest. The spider web also helps to make the nest more elastic so that the growing chicks have more room. The perch for the nest is low and skinny.

Usually, two white eggs are laid by the female which are incubated by her alone. The males may sometimes provide a defense to the nest. The chicks are blind when born, they do not have any down feathers, and are also immobile. The young chicks are protected and fed by their mother. The mother feeds the chicks with regurgitated insects since flower nectar does not have enough protein. The food is pushed down the throat of the chicks into the stomach by the mother, using her long bill.

The chicks are brooded just for one to two weeks and are left to themselves after 12 days. The young chicks are mostly gone from the nest after 7-10 days of being born.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Andean emerald species of hummingbird according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is Least Concern.

Andean Emerald Fun Facts

What do Andean emeralds look like?

The male Andean emerald is known to have a green-colored back. The upper side of the male's tail is also green. The crown and the head of the male are blue. The breast, throat, belly, as well as the undertail coverts, are all snowy white. There is also some green on the belly and breast, but only towards the sides. The female looks like the male but does not have any blue on the head. Instead, the crown of the female Andean emerald is green. Andean emeralds have a notched tail and an almost straight bill. The bill also has a black-colored culmen and a red mandible.

Andean emeralds have snowy white underparts.

How cute are they?

Andean emeralds are stunning and beautiful creatures. These birds have the most gorgeous, shimmery green colors on their backs. The males are even more colorful with their shiny blue crowns. These birds are aptly named since they look like precious emerald stones flying in the air.

How do they communicate?

Being hummingbirds, Andean emeralds primarily communicate through vocals and chitters. They also fly towards one another aggressively. Also, mating males make U-shaped flights to attract females.  These birds also have a tympanic middle ear and otoliths that enable them to hear sounds between 1,000-5,000 Hz. Their heating threshold is 20 dB and they have corneal eyes for vision.

How big is an Andean emerald?

Andean emerald birds are 3.5-4.3 in (8.9-10.9 cm) long.

How fast can an Andean emerald fly?

Like most hummingbirds, Andean emeralds (Uranomitra franciae, formerly Agyrtria franciae) can fly at speeds close to 30 mph (48.3 kph), but while performing courtship dives, male birds can achieve speeds close to 60 mph (96.6 kph)

How much does an Andean emerald weigh?

An Andean emerald (Uranomitra franciae, formerly Agyrtria franciae) bird weighs 0.19-0.2 oz (5.4-5.7 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female birds of the Andean emerald species do not have any specific names.

What would you call a baby Andean emerald?

A baby Andean emerald bird is called a chick.

What do they eat?

Andean emerald birds eat flower nectar, herbs, epiphytes, shrubs, sugar water, small insects and spiders, hawk moths, bumblebees.

Are they dangerous?

No, Andean emerald birds are not really dangerous

Would they make a good pet?

The Andean emerald bird is a wild hummingbird species that is not really kept as a pet. This bird does live close to human settlements and one can put out sugar and water feeders for it. This is as close as it comes to owning an Andean emerald as a pet.

Did you know...

The Andean emerald hummingbird species was previously included in the genus Amazilia. A genetic study led to its revised classification into the Uranomitra genus where it is the sole species. Uranomitra translates to 'heavenly head-band' which is clearly a reference to the blue crown of the males of this species. The other half of the scientific name has French origins. The trochilidist who classified Andean emerald birds was the French diplomat Claude-Marie Jules Bourcier, whose daughter was Francia Bourcier. The 'franciae' in the scientific name comes from Francia.

The Amazilia genus presently contains the rufous-tailed hummingbird, the buff-bellied hummingbird, the cinnamon hummingbird, the mangrove hummingbird, and the Honduran emerald species. The Andean emerald (Uranomitra franciae) was known by the scientific names Amazilia franciae and Agyrtria franciae. All hummingbird species comprise the family Trochilidae.

Do Andean emeralds migrate?

No, the Andean emerald (Uranomitra franciae) is a species that is not migratory.

How many eggs do Andean emeralds lay?

Andean emerald birds typically lay two white eggs.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our Cambodian tailorbird fun facts and Calliope hummingbird fun facts for kids pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Philippine fairy bluebird coloring pages.

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

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Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

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