Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) by Michael Woodruff
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39 KJV)
Avian and Attributes – Sword
1. An offensive weapon worn at the side, and used by hand either for thrusting or cutting.
2. Figuratively, destruction by war.
I will bring a sword upon you. Lev 26. Isa 51.
3. Vengeance or justice.
She quits the balance, and resigns the sword.
4. Emblem of authority and power.
The ruler–beareth not the sword in vain. Rom 13.
5. War; dissension.
I came not to send peace, but a sword. Mat 10.
6. Emblem of triumph and protection.
The Lord–the sword of thy excellence. Deu 33.
SWORDED, a. Girded with a sword.
Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera)©WikiC
The sword-billed hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) is a neotropical species of hummingbird from the Andean regions of South America. It is the sole member of the genus Ensifera and is characterized by its unusually long bill; it is the only bird to have a beak longer than the rest of its body. E. ensifera uses its bill to drink nectar from flowers with long corollas and has coevolved with the species Passiflora mixta. While most hummingbirds preen using their bills, E. ensifera must use its feet to scratch and preen due to its bill being so long. This uncommon bird is also one of the largest hummingbird species.
Sword-billed hummingbirds are found perched on the mid to upper level branches of neotropical trees. Its length ranges 13 to 14 cm from the tail tip to the base of the bill, with males slightly larger on average than females. The bill can additionally be over 10 cm long. Individuals weigh between 10-15 g making it one of the largest species of hummingbirds. As is characteristic of hummingbirds, is able to fly backwards and hover in the air. It also exhibits higher than average wing-disc loading than other members of its family.
Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) Female ©WikiC
E. ensifera displays sexual dimorphism where plumage varies between males and females. Males have a coppery bronze head, bronze green back, bright green underbelly, blackish green throat, and bronze green tail. Females have a similarly colored head and back, a white belly speckled with green, a more olive colored throat, and grayish white edging around the tail.
The defining trait of this species is a beak longer than the rest of its body (excluding the tail). The tongue is also unusually long to span the length of the tube-shaped bill. The beak is black in color and curves slightly upwards. These adaptations help the hummingbird feed on flowers with long corollas that are inaccessible to other species.
Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) female (right) with a buff-tailed coronet ©WikiC
“And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:16-18 KJV)
More Avian and Attributes
Birds whose first or last name starts with “S”
[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]