Hummingbird Week 2024

Red-billed Streamertail: Jamaica’s Dazzling Doctor Bird

Birdorable Red-billed Streamertail

For this Hummingbird Week, we're introducing a fabulous new species of hummingbird to the Birdorable family: the Red-billed Streamertail!

The Red-billed Streamertail is one of the most dazzling and delightful birds you can find in Jamaica. This bird is not only a sight to behold but also holds a special place in Jamaican culture and folklore. It's importance to the country is seen in the fact that it's the official national bird of Jamaica.

The Red-billed Streamertail is a member of the hummingbird family, known for its spectacularly long tail feathers and vibrant colors. The males of the species are especially eye-catching with their brilliant emerald-green plumage and long, ribbon-like tail feathers that can be up to 10 inches long. These streamers flutter gracefully behind them as they fly.

Female Red-billed Streamertails are less flamboyant but equally adorable. They lack the long tail feathers and have more subdued green plumage with white underparts. Despite their differences, both males and females share the characteristic red bill that gives the species its name.

This beautiful bird is endemic to Jamaica, meaning it is found nowhere else in the world. Its preferred habitats are tropical rainforests, gardens, and plantations where it can find ample food sources. The Red-billed Streamertail feeds primarily on nectar, using its long bill to reach deep into flowers. In addition to nectar, it also consumes small insects and spiders, providing a well-rounded diet that supports its high-energy lifestyle.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Red-billed Streamertail is its courtship display. Males perform an aerial dance to attract females, flying in broad arcs and loops, and even hovering, all while showing off their long tail streamers. This display is not only a visual spectacle but also produces a distinctive whirring sound, adding an auditory element to the performance.

In Jamaican culture, the Red-billed Streamertail is more than just a beautiful bird; it is a national symbol and a subject of many legends and stories. Locally known as the Doctor Bird, this hummingbird is celebrated in folklore as a mystical creature with healing powers. Some tales even suggest that seeing a Doctor Bird brings good luck.

The conservation status of the Red-billed Streamertail is currently stable, thanks in part to its adaptability and the relatively intact habitats in Jamaica. However, habitat destruction and climate change pose potential threats to its population. Conservation efforts and awareness are essential to ensure that this stunning bird continues to thrive in its natural environment.

Birdwatchers visiting Jamaica are often eager to catch a glimpse of the Red-billed Streamertail, and it's no wonder why. Watching a male in full display is like witnessing a living jewel in motion. Their rapid wing beats and dazzling colors make them a highlight for any birding expedition.

The Red-billed Streamertail is a remarkable bird with its radiant plumage, extraordinary tail feathers, and captivating courtship displays. Its importance in Jamaican culture and folklore further enhances its charm. Ensuring the conservation of this endemic species allows future generations to continue to marvel at one of nature's most exquisite avian wonders. We welcome this amazing little flying jewel to our Birdorable family!

Birdorable Red-billed Streamertail Gifts


Woodpiecer on June 18, 2024 at 9:34 AM wrote:
I knew that the Red-billed Streamertail is the national bird of Jamaica. And also, there are two or three more hummingbird species left to go in this Hummingbird Week. The species are the Allen's Hummingbird and the Calliope Hummingbird.
Woodpiecer on June 18, 2024 at 9:38 AM wrote:
Birdorable, can you please add a female Red-billed Streamertail to the 'Meet the Birds' page, please???

Leave a comment

Comments with links or HTML will be deleted. Your comment will be published pending approval.
Your email address will not be published
You can unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information on how to unsubscribe, our privacy practices, and how we are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy, please review our Privacy Policy. By clicking submit below, you consent to allow Birdorable to store and process the personal information submitted above to provide you the content requested.

Oregon 2020 Bird Population Survey

Researchers in Oregon are working on a huge survey of birds in the state: Oregon 2020. Data from field observations is being compiled to determine the abundance and distribution of Oregon's bird species. The study in part uses data collected by citizen scientists who bird the state and...

Bird Term: Neotropical Migrant

A lot of bird species are migratory. That means that they spend part of the year in one place and then travel (fly) to another place for some time. Migration is typically based around ideal conditions for breeding versus availability of food...

2016 Bonanza Bird #8: Painted Stork

Today's new Bonanza bird is a species of stork found in parts of Asia: the Painted Stork!Painted Storks live in wetlands across most of India, as well as coastal areas around parts of southeast Asia. Painted Storks remain on their territory...

Martha Week: From Billions to None Documentary

Monday, September 1st will mark the 100 year anniversary of the death of Martha, the last of her species, the Passenger Pigeon. With her death our planet lost another species forever to extinction. This week we'd like to share some of the commemorative events and educational opportunities...