Main content area

On a Tightrope: Use of Open Sky Urban Telephone Wires by Azure-crowned Hummingbirds (Amazilia cyanocephala) for Nesting

Escobar-Ibáñez, Juan F., MacGregor-Fors, Ian
The Wilson journal of ornithology 2015 v.127 no.2 pp. 297-302
chicks, electricity, hummingbirds, nesting, nests, predation, urban areas, urbanization
Birds are considered excellent bioindicators in urban areas. Some of the ecological processes behind bird ecological patterns in urban areas have been related to birds’ capacities to shift their behaviors. In this brief communication, we report a nest of Azure-crowned Hummingbird (Amazilia cyanocephala) built on a metallic structure that connects telephone wires, surrounded by other electricity and cable wires. After visiting the nest for 19 days, we did not have any evidence of predation, and because of the size and behavior of the chicks during the last two visits, we assume that the nest was successful. Previous studies have suggested that urban systems lay open to colonization by species that can reach them, use their resources, and survive their hazards. We recorded a nest of Azure-crowned Hummingbirds that was built on an open sky telephone. Our observation was a notable example of the degree of venture that some individual birds can exhibit in response to urbanization, suggesting a certain degree of ecological plasticity. Thus, future detailed studies are needed to untangle the advantages and disadvantages of nesting on open sky urban wires, to assess if it is profitable to nest on such structures.