Fun Green Thorntail Facts For Kids

Georgia Stone
Aug 30, 2023 By Georgia Stone
Originally Published on Aug 31, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Green thorntail facts will teach you fascinating information about these tiny birds.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.6 Min

The green thorntail (Discosura conversii) is a hummingbird species that comprises the family Trochilidae under the genus Discura. The male of this species is colored in a vibrant shade of peacock blue-green with a long tail and a white rump. The female has a duller green shade with black underparts, a shorter tail, and white spots in the plumage.

The green thorntail is found across the canopied equatorial forests of Central and South America at an elevation between 2,300-4,600 ft (700-1,400 m). However, they are spotted at lower elevations during the rainy seasons. This bird species is a breeding resident of western Ecuador and Colombia, the Caribbean region of Panama, and Costa Rica.

The green thorntail female lays eggs and has a clutch size of two, like other hummingbirds, and incubates them alone. The male protects the nest but does not participate in building or incubation. The diet of this bird mainly consists of nectar, spiders, small flies, and wasps.

If you want to find out more interesting bird facts, look at the hummingbird and the gray catbird.

Green Thorntail Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a green thorntail?

The green thorntail (Discosura conversii) is a species of hummingbird found in Central and South America.

What class of animal does a green thorntail belong to?

The green thorntail belongs to the Aves class under the order of Apodiformes and the family Trochilidae.

How many green thorntails are there in the world?

It is known that the green thorntail range is quite large. However, the exact number of this species is yet to be recorded.

Where does the green thorntail live?

The green thorntail (Discosura conversii) is found across Central America on the Caribbean slopes of Panama and Costa Rica. These birds are also found in some parts of South America, through western Ecuador and Colombia.

What is a green thorntail's habitat?

The green thorntail hummingbird is found in the canopies, clearings, and edges of humid, equatorial rain forests. These birds keep away from highly populated regions and do not migrate. During the monsoon seasons, this species moves from high elevations to the foothills or any lowland.

Who do green thorntails live with?

The green thorntail is a solitary bird. Even during the breeding season, the male and female do not nest, forage, or raise the chicks together.

How long does a green thorntail live?

The exact lifespan of a green thorntail (Discosura conversii) is unknown, but hummingbirds generally have a lifespan of around three to five years.

How do they reproduce?

This species does not form pair bonds, and the male green thornbill (Discosura conversii) is only involved during the actual mating process while the female does the rest of the work. The male impresses the female by flying in semicircular patterns in front of her, and after copulation, the male goes away.

Male green thorntails also do not help to choose the location, build the nest, or raise the young. The green thorntail female builds a small, cup-shaped nest by weaving together plant fibers and green moss.

The nests are built on thin, horizontal branches of bushes, shrubs, or trees.

The structure has a certain level of elasticity to expand as the chick grows and is held together by spider webs. The color of the nest also helps it to camouflage easily into the thicket.

The female lays two white eggs and incubates them while the male guards the territory and feeding ground. The male also displays a series of dives to ward off any predators.

The chicks of this species are born immobile, blind, and without any down. The chicks are fed and protected during the 12 day brooding period and left alone afterward. The chicks leave the nest after 20 days.

What is their conservation status?

 According to the IUCN records, the green thorntail (Discosura conversii) is given the Least Concern status.

Green Thorntail Fun Facts

What do green thorntails look like?

The green thorntail species shows a certain level of sexual dimorphism, meaning the male and female birds have different plumage. Both the male and female have a tiny needle-like black beak and green head and back with a white band on the lower back and a white rump.

These birds have white spots on their flanks and a copper-green shade on the tips of their flight feathers. The male green color is a bright peacock shade with metallic blue hues.

The male also has a long tail that has two prominent wire-like feathers. In contrast, the female has white cheeks, black in her plumage, and her breast is darker than that of the male.

The green thorntail female is also shorter in size and has a small forked tail. The plumage of a young hummingbird looks similar to that of a female.

The female green thorntail has a shorter tail than the male.

How cute are they?

These birds are tiny and have a fluffy, pom-pom-like appearance. They definitely rank high on the cuteness scale.

How do they communicate?

This bird species is often quiet and when making a sound, it is a mellow 'chip'. However, several behavioral patterns are observed among these birds. For instance, during the flowering season, green thorntail birds are seen on top of canopies to catch flies.

How big is a green thorntail?

The male green thorntail (Discosura conversii) is around 3.9 in (10 cm,) which is about the same size as the Calliope hummingbird. The female is around 3 in (7.6 cm), about three times smaller than the northern mockingbird.

How fast can a green thorntail fly?

The flight speed of green thorntail hummingbirds is unknown.

How much does a green thorntail weigh?

Female and male birds weigh around 0.07-0.1 oz (2-3 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female green thornbirds do not have separate names. However, these birds have common names in other languages like Cola-de-lira Verde in Spanish, Coquette de Convers in French, Dornschwanzelfe in German, and Groene Draadkolibrie in Dutch.

What would you call a baby green thorntail?

The young one of a green thorntail (Discosura conversii) bird is called a chick like any other bird.

What do they eat?

This long-tail hummingbird is an omnivore. Their diet consists of insects like common wasps, small flies, and spiders. They also feed on the sweet nectar of blooming flowers.

Are they dangerous?

No, the green thorntail (Discosura conversii) does not produce any toxins or venom and is not aggressive. The male will open up its flight feathers when threatened, especially near the nesting site.

Would they make a good pet?

Green thorntails are wild birds and live in equatorial rainforests. This is why they would not make great pets.

Did you know...

Blue jays and crows prey on hummingbird eggs and fledglings.

What is the green thorntail's call?

This species is mostly silent. When they do chirp, it can be heard as a low 'chip'.

Why is it called the green thorntail?

This species gets its name because a green thorntail male has long, pointed tail feathers with two prominently longer feathers at the base. This family of birds is called thorntails because of the long, pointed, and sharp tail feathers.

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 sunbird facts and rufous hummingbird facts pages.

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

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Written by Georgia Stone

Bachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

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Georgia StoneBachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.

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