Since it was found in 1946, the Santa Marta sabrewing, an emerald green hummingbird, has only twice been formally recorded.
The Santa Marta sabrewing, one of the top ten most sought-after bird species worldwide, was surprisingly unearthed in the Colombian highlands after years of search efforts.
Only twice had the little hummingbird been confirmed to have been seen: once when it was found in 1946 and once in 2010 when it accidently fell into a researcher’s mist net. Since then, many people have believed it to be extinct.
According to John Mittermeier, director of vulnerable species outreach at the American Bird Conservancy, “It’s really amazing to see photographs and video of the Santa Marta sabrewing.” “Seeing a ghost,” someone said.
Bird enthusiasts are drawn to the missing Santa Marta sabrewing because they want to prove its existence in history.
According to Natalia Ocampo-Peuela, a Colombian ornithologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, many people have gone home dissatisfied and others may have even been tricked by the bird’s illusive emerald green body and sparkly blue neck. Birdwatchers took pictures of what seemed to be the sabrewing’s body, but since the tail was missing, the pictures were ambiguous.
According to Ocampo-Peuela, “They could have been misidentifying it or it might just have such a small population or specialized habitat that all the birdwatchers who went out there missed it. “It was hidden there all along!”
Yurgen Vega, who was researching the region’s endemic species with the World Parrot Trust and two conservation research organizations, SELVA and ProCAT Colombia, came saw the uncommon bird singing while perched on a branch. According to scientists, the unusual encounter could well ensure its existence.
Aside from the fact that it typically dwells in neotropical forest at an elevation of 1200 to 1800 meters and may travel to frigid moors during the rainy season to look for blossoming plants, nothing is known about the fascinating species.
Last year, in an effort to save it, the sabrewing was placed on the top 10 most wanted list by Search for Lost Birds.
Agriculture is threatening the forests of the Sierra Nevada, and the sighting occurred in a region without protection.
According to conservation advocacy groups, knowledge about the sabrewing’s behavior and habitat could assist guide conservation efforts.
In a nation that has more species per square kilometer than any other in the world, the Santa Marta highlands are home to at least 22 unique bird species and a refuge of biodiversity.
According to Esteban Botero-Delgadillo of SELVA, the revelation that the area is home to yet another unique species reinforces the case that the government must collaborate with environmentalists and local populations to protect the bird.