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The blue-tailed emerald is 7.5 cm (3 in) long and weighs 2.6 g. The black bill is relatively short and straight. The male has a brilliant green plumage, with white thighs and a dark metallic blue tail (clearly forked in the northern part of its range; slightly so in the central and southern part). The female average smaller than the male and also differ by the grey-white underparts, a blackish ear patch, a short white supercilium/post-ocular streak and white-tipped outer tail feathers.
Garden in Bonaire, Very shy and wary of humans, difficult to photograph.