This Rare Hummingbird Spent 64 Years As A Lost Species Before It Was Remarkably Rediscovered

After 64 years, the Santa Marta sabrewing was surprisingly found in 2022. To understand its biology, behavior, and ecological range, researchers have studied the bird since then.  

In the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains of northern Colombia, study author Yurgen Vega saw the stunning blue and green hummingbird.  

The range is the world's tallest coastal mountain. It has a rich cultural heritage and unique wildlife groups.  

Seven months following Vega's discovery, other researchers found other hummingbirds in the same area but in different spots.  

The unusual hummingbird was photographed in 2010 and then disappeared until its 2022 discovery. The Search for Lost Birds lists it among the top 10 most wanted birds.  

Two years ago, experts began closely monitoring the birds. They discovered that the species lived year-round and did not migrate.  

Researchers discovered that the bird is restricted to four of five neighboring areas along the Guatapurí river basin on the southeastern side of the mountain range.  

“Our findings show that this amazing hummingbird may be an example of micro endemism, as it seems to be restricted to a limited area within the world’s most important continental center of endemism,” research lead author Esteban Botero-Delgadillo stated.  

The researchers also learned about Santa Marta sabrewing social behavior and feeding. Male birds establish leks to attract females with competitive displays and mating rituals. They hunt intruders from their territories during these displays.