Saturday, 12 March 2011

Venezuelan colours: Ruby-topaz

The Ruby-topaz hummingbird is another inhabitant of Northern South America. We call it in Spanish "tucusito ruby". "Tucusito" is a diminutive form in Spanish and although I could not find anything about the etymology, I bet it comes from a Carib language. In Pemon "hummingbird" is called tucü (or tucui). Large areas of Venezuela were originally inhabited by ethnic groups speaking Carib languages.

These hummingbirds are 8 centimetres long. Wikipedia dixit: "The female Ruby-topaz Hummingbird lays two eggs in a tiny cup nest in the fork of a low branch. Incubation takes 16 days, and fledging another 18 or 19."

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