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The Gray-bellied Comet is a large, unmistakable Andean hummingbird of arid montane scrub habitats of north-central Peru. The species has an extremely limited geographic range, found only at a small number of sites between 2,600 – 3,500 m elevation within the Marañon valley and Peruvian High Andes endemic bird areas. Usually encountered as single individuals, the Gray-bellied Comet is readily identifiable by its long, deeply forked tail, overall body length, bronzy-green upperparts, uniform grey underparts, and by the rich blue gorget of the male (absent in females). Extremely territorial, the species is dominant over all other species of hummingbird at flowering plants. The comet is, however, inexplicably rare, and is currently listed as Endangered due to ongoing anthropogenic threats to the montane scrub habitats throughout its limited distribution.
Photo of Gray-bellied Comet © Roger Ahlman