They carefully observe these every day and call the long tail feathers “antennas” because these are in addition to their regular tail, and move independently. This leads me to wonder if they have evolved into separate muscles very different from tails of other hummingbirds? Rather than believing this is to attract females, locals believe this racket tail serves as a decoy for predator birds that is similar to a lizard giving up its tail.
You can’t see its wings while flying, but its racket tail feathers look exactly like two fluttering butterfly wings (like a Matador’s cape), typically over an inch across. In reality the Spatuletail is easy to spot, despite of its small body, because of this tail.
Some believe the tail serves as a “rear propulsion system” to give them a final push up inside of the long Campanilla, trumpet like flowers that hang down over 10cm and are full of nectar.
We would like to partner with any group genuinely interested in preserving this most spectacular species. Once identified our village tourist committee will be planting flowering plants throughout our zone that feeds them to provide a food chain.
Los Tambos Chachapoyanos donated the hydro-generator to the village of Choctamal and formed the village sustainable tourist committee many years before these hummingbirds were “discovered”. We now provide electricity for the lodge and for five villages in this valley.
Our working with the villages and many donations (like this year’s organ donation to their new church), gives us leverage in critical areas of conservation, planning and zoning. This is the heart of Americas’ best combination ecological AND archaeological destination. It is equal to Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon.
Nearby to the east is the world’s greatest rainforest, and its driest desert is to the west. Our central location in the cross section of the world’s most extreme geography gives us an outstanding 18 % of the world’s bird population.
We are located in the tropical end of Peru but lack the tourist budget of the colder Cuzco Zone to “brand” such claims as their superior number of birds, butterflies, etc.
However our newly accessible zone is where unfolding discoveries of birds, archaeological ruins, mausoleums, waterfalls, and medicinal plants are on the cutting edge. The latter 20th Century brought the first vehicle road and before that its only access was over a month long walk in on Inca roads. Before the road was built the great archaeologist Raymondi summarized, -- this zone contained 15,000 sq. kms. of unexplored mountains with even more unexplored jungles below.