bearded helmetcrest, Oxypogon guerinii (2)

photo: Aralcal

Habitat: Colombia and Venezuela
Status: Least Concern

If Dumbledore decided to go Punk Rock and transformed into a hummingbird…. he would look exactly like the Bearded Helmetcrest (Oxypogon guerinii). Males have a white and black mohawk and a shaggy, purple beard that hangs below their itty-bitty beaks (they’re only 0.3 in long).

The species was first described in 1840 by French ornithologist Auguste Boissonneau and its the only member of the genus Oxypogon. That’s because how many wizarding birds are out there? Not many, it turns out.

You can find these remarkable creatures flitting through the Andes mountains at elevations of 3600 to 4500 m (12000–15000 ft) in Venezuela and 3200 to 5200 m (10500 to 17000 ft) in Colombia.

bearded helmetcrest, Oxypogon guerinii (4)

photo: Flickr user Andy Bunting

Instead of using spells and potions to keep away predators, though, the Bearded Helmetcrest males will aggressively defend their feeding territories with their intimidating displays and aerial flights. Pictured above is a male splaying his tail feathers, so as to appear larger than he really is – which is only 4.5 in length.

Besides being a wizard in disguise, the best part about this bird is the absolutely mind-blowingly cute noise it makes. Bearded Helmetcrests don’t have calls, per say… they have squeaks. Take a listen for yourself. Just be warned it’s ridiculously adorable.