Also known as the doctor bird or scissor-tail, the red-billed streamertail is the national animal of Jamaica. This bird is a member of the hummingbird family. They feed on nectar from flowers, and this is made possible by the nature of their beak. The beak is slender, long and curved, making it possible for the national animal of Jamaica to easily suck nectar from flowers. The feathers of the national bird of Jamaica are the most beautiful among all the birds in the world. Mature males also have two long tails which stream behind when the bird flies.
The scissor-tail bird is indigenous to Jamaica. They are mostly found in closed forests where there are flowering plants. Other than forests, the national animal of Jamaica can also be found in gardens and parks. In such places, there are lots of flowering plants and Jamaica’s national animal is guaranteed of nectar. Other than Jamaica, the doctor bird also resides in many other countries including African states, United States of America, Canada and Europe.
Facts about the National Animal of Jamaica
- Common name: doctor bird
- Scientific name: Trochilus polytmus
- Incubation period: 17-19 days
- Lifespan: 1 year
- Average weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average tail length: 15-18cm.
- Habitat: forests, gardens and parks
- Diet: nectar, insects and worms
The national bird of Jamaica has a bright iridescent green color over its body. Its crown and tail are black. At the nape of the neck, feathers form a tuff. The bill is red with a black tip. Females’ crown, neck and back are pale green in color. The underparts of this bird is white. This bird, which is considered the most beautiful bird among all bird species is the national animal symbol of Jamaica.
The doctor bird is a celebrated national symbol of Jamaica. The long tail feathers of the male bird are used for decoration during traditional events.
- “Red-billed streamertail”-Wikipedia
- “List of national animals”-Wikipedia
- “The doctor bird”-Jamaica information service
- “Doctor Bird: fact file”-Jamaica travel and culture