A brilliant gem of a hummingbird, the violet-capped woodnymph is a tropical bird common in the eastern central region of South America.
Violet-Capped Woodnymph, Brazilian Woodnymph
- Bill: Needle thin, black, relatively short
- Size: 4 inches long with 5-6-inch wingspan, long tail
- Colors: Blue, green, purple, black, white, gray
- Markings: Dimorphic species. Males are an overall brilliant iridescent green that is brighter on the underparts. The wings are dark, and the forehead and crown are a rich purple or blue-purple. Feathers around the legs are white. Females have bright green upperparts and white or gray underparts, and faint speckling may be visible on the throat. A gray tinge is often visible around the eyes, the wings are dark and the dark tail has a prominent white tip. Both genders have long, rounded tails, but the female’s tail is shorter.
Habitat and Migration:
Violet-capped woodnymphs are common birds found year-round in scrub forests and humid forest edges in southern Brazil, the eastern portions of Paraguay and Uruguay and in extreme northern Argentina. These are adaptable birds that are also frequently found in parks, gardens and backyards. These birds do not migrate.
Like most hummingbirds, violet-capped woodnymphs are not extremely vocal. They do have a rapid, high-pitched chatter and a thin “pip” or “purp” call that may be heard in flight.
The violet-capped woodnymph is an amiable hummingbird that can regularly be found at feeders with other hummingbird species without aggressive behavior. It will hold its tail still when feeding, but if agitated, a male will raise the purple feathers on his crown in a slight crest.
Despite the fact that these are relatively common hummingbirds within their range, little is known about their courtship, mating and reproduction. It is fair to speculate, however, that like other hummingbirds the females are responsible for the care and nurturing of the young, and it is likely that only 2 eggs are laid for each brood.
Attracting Violet-Capped Woodnymphs:
Within their range, violet-capped woodnymphs regularly visit backyards that offer nectar feeders or nectar-producing flowers. Backyard birders interested in attracting these hummingbirds should also avoid spraying insecticides that would eliminate insects as a crucial source of food.