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Sword-billed Hummingbird

Ensifera ensifera


The sword-billed hummingbird is the only species of bird with a bill longer than its body. To avoid toppling over, it must hold its long bill up high in order to balance when perching.


Seen at Yanacocha - The reserve is located at the northwest of Quito, on the northwest flank of Volcán Pichincha at ca. 3200-3400 m above sea level, it is open to the public, with primary access – after ascending ca. 15 kilometers on a narrow and scenic road up through partially cultivated countryside being along a main trail that actually is on top of the aqueduct and therefore is essentially level (a rarity this high in the Andes!). This trail extends for more than two kilometres through the high-elevation forest, with flocks of birds being regularly encountered. Several stations with multiple hummingbird feeders are situated at various spots, and visitors can obtain point-blank views of the many species that regularly arrive to feed.


Inhabiting montane forest, the sword-billed hummingbird is found in the Andes of South America, from Venezuela to Bolivia. It feeds on flowers with long corollas.

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Zlatan Celebic
Zlatan Celebic 2 years ago

Congrats, Steven

Congrats Stephen

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 2 years ago

Excellent, Stephen...well done!

Roy Arun
Roy Arun 2 years ago

Outstanding spotting .....and congrats sir..👍

SukanyaDatta 2 years ago

Too...too good! Congratulations.

DanielePralong 2 years ago

Congratulations Stephen, this spotting came equal second in a tied vote in our 2018 Best Wildlife Photo Competition, Bird category!



Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 2 years ago

Superb shots. Thanks for sharing them.

DanielePralong 3 years ago

Fantastic shot drstephen!
As per our guidelines, under Habitat could you please describe the actual habitat where you saw this bird. Generic habitat information can go in your notes or be part of a reference. Thanks in advance!

DrNamgyalT.Sherpa 3 years ago

Congrats drstephen for the nomination! And good luck for the final vote! Your photo is just fantastic!

AshleyT 3 years ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

robert emond
robert emond 3 years ago

Fantastic series! Thanks for sharing

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 3 years ago

Amazing bird, and nice spotting!

SukanyaDatta 3 years ago

Stupendous shots!

Zlatan Celebic
Zlatan Celebic 3 years ago

wow! great series.

Jamie Grant
Jamie Grant 3 years ago


DrNamgyalT.Sherpa 3 years ago

Excellent photo!

Stephen Wain
Spotted by
Stephen Wain

Pichincha, Ecuador

Spotted on May 20, 2018
Submitted on May 20, 2018

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