Red-tailed Comet


The Red-tailed Comet (Sappho sparganurus) is a medium-sized hummingbird.

This species of hummingbird can be found in the Central Andes of Bolivia and Argentina, in Chile and in Peru.

The genus name refers to Sappho, an ancient Greek poet of Lesbos. The species name sparganus derives from the Greek words σπαργανόω and ουρά, meaning “decorated tail”.

In at least part of its range it is known in the local Quechua language as Q’ori Kenti (“golden hummingbird”). It is called the picaflor cometa in Spanish.

For this particular water color I used mainly different shades of green (May Green, Permanent Green), Red (Carmin), a bit of Indian Yellow (which is one of my favourite colors), Violet and Payne´s Grey and Black.


Red-tailed Comet
Red-tailed Comet (water color on paper; March 2018)


And if you feel in the mood for reading a bit more about hummingbirds and also watch some lovely videos, please visit my friend´s Jill Weatherholt´s blog, who apart from being an awesome writer is also very passionate about these beautiful birds and is lucky to have the opportunity to feed them!



Published by Sarah

Artist & Illustrator

51 thoughts on “Red-tailed Comet

  1. I have never seen that variety of humming bird but it’s a beautiful watercolor of it. We don’t have many of them around my house. Jill does love her humming birds. I’m going to have to research this one a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marlene!
      Sadly there are no hummingbirds in Germany but I enjoy looking at pictures of them and Jill is a reliable source of beautiful photos of hummingbirds. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No humming birds in Germany? Oh my goodness, I did not know that! I had to go do some research. That is amazing to me. They love to tall pine trees here. Learned something new today. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Also no lovely monarch butterflies either, I’m afraid. But there are other lovely critters to be found here so I’m not complaining. 😉

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  2. Just had another peep at this painting – so lovely!
    Younger Daughter has a penchant for hummingbirds … we used to tell her made up stories where the Main Character was a hummingbird. If I’d known back then that some of these lovely birds had long tails like this, ours would have looked exactly like this! We only have sunbirds (we think they are cousins) in Singapore – not quite as colourful! Definitely no long tails!

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  3. Gorgeous work, Sarah, and I just saw Jill’s post, too. I love hummingbirds, and they’re special for reminding me of my mom, who absolutely adored these amazing birds. As I mentioned to Jill, I told my husband the other day that I’d like to get a hummingbird feeder this year. So, that is on my list of to-buys. 🙂 Hugs and Happy Weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Cathi, I left a few comments on your lovely blog yesterday and just had a look but it seems they didn’t show up. 😦 Maybe they’re stuck in your spam folder? Otherwise I will try again! 😊

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    1. Thanks so much, Jacqui! I would probably run excitedly round in circles or jumping up and down if I ever saw one in real life! By which time it would very likely take flight! 😁


  4. Oh Sarah! I adore your water color! I was so excited when I read your title. How sweet of you to mention me and my love for hummingbirds. Thank you. Guess what? The day before yesterday we put out a feeder to see if the hummies were back for the season. Well, it took 45 seconds for an adorable Ruby-throated fella to show up. Now we get to enjoy 6 months of hummie bliss! I’m so happy!❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome, Jill. 😊 I immediately had to think of you when I decided to paint this little fellow! I’m so glad you like my painting of it! And how wonderful that your hummingbirds are already back – I’ll look forward to your pictures 😉 Have a lovely hummie day! ❤❤🐦


  5. Gorgeous bird with lovely names in many languages. This is a type of hummingbird I’d never heard of before. They are such miraculous little creatures, and I can see why, as you an artist, you are attracted to them. So much colour and detail.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Oglach!
      Before I opened the book with rather exotic birds I have and use as a base for my paintings, I haven´t known it either, but the tail instantly caught my eye and I knew I just had to paint it! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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