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insects and nectar, and as they grow, the proportion of insects will diminish. In adult hummingbirds, insects only make out 10% of the diet.


Hummingbirds are rarely kept in zoos because of their specific needs. One of the better known species is the Amazilia Hummingbird (Amazilia amazilia), which occurs in Western Peru and Ecuador. This species measures 9 to 11 cm and weighs about 5 g. Amazilia Hummingbirds have a green head and upper back, a rufous tail and belly and an iridescent throat ranging from golden to turquoise green. Their wings are black and their bill is mostly red. Males and females look very similar, but females usually look a little duller and have a larger black tip on their bill. Amazilia Hummingbirds prefer semi-arid to arid habitats with scrubs, thorn forests and desert areas. They are also common in cultivations, parks and gardens, even within larger cities


such as Lima. The species breeds all year round, with females usually laying two eggs in a cup-like nest consisting of plant wool, fibers and spider webs. After an incubation period of 16 days the almost naked chicks hatch, weighing approximately 0.5 grams.


Amazilia Hummingbirds have been bred in some institutions, but it remains very difficult to maintain a sustainable population in captivity. In 2011, Weltvogelpark Walsrode had the chance to start an Amazilia Hummingbird breeding project. This was a fantastic opportunity for us, but of course it needed much preparation! For our hummingbirds, we designed a room where the light cycle, air inflow,


08 BIRD SCENE


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