BIRD OF THE WEEK — JUAN FERNANDEZ FIRECROWN — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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BIRD OF THE WEEK

Juan Fernández Firecrown

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Sephanoides fernandensis
POPULATION: 490-2,000
IUCN STATUS: Critically Endangered
TREND: Decreasing
HABITAT: Native scrub, forest, and gardens.

The beautiful Juan Fernández Firecrown is surely one of the world’s most isolated hummingbird species. Unlike mainland birds such as the Chilean Woodstar, this hummingbird is found on just one far-flung Pacific island in Chile’s remote Juan Fernández Archipelago, more than 370 miles west of the South American mainland. That island, Isla Robinson Crusoe, has been designated an Alliance for Zero Extinction site because it contains this species’ entire global population.

The female Juan Fernández Firecrown may not be quite as flashy as the male, but she is still a brilliant dark green above and white below, spangled with iridescent green spots, and topped with an iridescent blue-green crown. (See photo below.) In contrast, the male is a uniform rufous-orange, with a fiery reddish-yellow crown.

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