Bearded mountaineer

Oreonympha nobilis

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The bearded mountaineer (Oreonympha nobilis) is a species of hummingbird in the Trochilidae family. It is found only in Peru. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland.

The ornithologist John Gould described the species in 1869, from a specimen collected by H. Whitely at Tinta District, and placed it in its own genus Oreonympha. He recognised a kinship with Oxypogon and Ramphomicron. The genus name is derived from the Ancient Greek words oreo- “mountain” and “nympha” “nymph”, while the specific epithet is the Latin adjective nobilis, “noble”. A study of mitochondrial DNA of hummingbirds shows it to be most closely related to the bearded helmetcrest (Oxypogon guerinii) and the rufous-capped thornbill (Chalcostigma ruficeps). The other member of the genus Chalcostigma lay outside the group, suggesting the genus might need revising in the future. Two subspecies are recognised – the more widespread nominate subspecies nobilis has a blue eyebrow, while the more restricted albolimbata has white. source

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