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Koepcke’s Hermit is an unobtrusive species found in foothills of the eastern base of the Andes of Peru. It is fairly new to science, discovered in 1977 during ecological surveys of an isolated mountain range in central Peru, the Cerros del Sira, and has subsequently been found only on low outlying mountain ranges. This patchy distribution and resultant isolation may be responsible for the significant size differences recorded between some populations. In most species of hermits, the bill has a slight but noticeable curve; Koepcke's is one of the few species of hermit with a bill that is long and straight. Aside from its curiously restricted and patchy distribution, Koepcke's is a fairly typical hermit and is closely related to similar Needle-billed Hermit (Phaethornis philippii), which replaces it at lower elevations.