HUMMINGBIRDS   -   TROCHILIDAE   -   PART IV

Pufflegs, spatuletail, sunbeams, incas, starfrontlets, coronets, other high Andean hummers


Greenish Puffleg - Haplophaedia aureliae
Greenish Puffleg
Haplophaedia aureliae caucensis
Las Tangaras Reserve, El Carmen, Chocó department, Colombia.
The dullest puffleg, The bronzy tones on its head and rump can help with the ID. (S6)


Buff-thighed Puffleg - Haplophaedia assimilis
Buff-thighed Puffleg
Haplophaedia assimilis assimilis
Manu road between Pillahuata and San Pedro, Cusco department, Peru.
I think this is a juvenile Buff-thighed Puffleg, mainly from size, jizz, and location. The leg puffs are not evident, and the rump was not visible. (D2)


Coppery-bellied Puffleg - Eriocnemis cupreoventris
Coppery-bellied Puffleg
Eriocnemis cupreoventris
Observatorio de Colibríes, La Calera, Cundinamarca, Colombia.
This puffleg is found in temperate forest in the eastern Andes of Colombia and in adjacent western Venezuela. The coppery belly is not visible in this photo. (S11)


Sapphire-vented Puffleg - Eriocnemis luciani
Sapphire-vented Puffleg
Eriocnemis luciani luciani
Yanacocha reserve, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
A hummer of high Andean elfin forest, locally common from Venezuela to Peru. (S8)


Golden-breasted Puffleg - Eriocnemis mosquera
Golden-breasted Puffleg
Eriocnemis mosquera
Yanacocha reserve, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
A rather scarce hummer of high Andean elfin forest from central Colombia to northern Ecuador. Yanacocha is one of the most reliable spots, as they visit the feeders on most days. (S8)


Blue-capped Puffleg - Eriocnemis glaucopoides
Blue-capped Puffleg
Eriocnemis glaucopoides
Calilegua National Park, Jujuy province, Argentina.
Male. The southernmost puffleg, found in humid Andean forest from central Bolivia to northwestern Argentina. (S8)


Emerald-bellied Puffleg - Eriocnemis aline
Emerald-bellied Puffleg
Eriocnemis aline dybowskii
Abra Patricia, San Martín department, Peru.
Male. A scarce and local hummer found in Andean cloudforest from Colombia to Peru. It is easier to see at Abra Patricia than anywhere else, and often visits the feeders at the Owlet Lodge. (S6)


Glowing Puffleg - Eriocnemis vestita
Glowing Puffleg
Eriocnemis vestita vestita
Observatorio de Colibríes, La Calera, Cundinamarca, Colombia.
Male. A beautiful, shimmering hummer. I think one of the obvious features in the field is the glistening rump patch, which is rarely mentioned in field guies. It is somewhat visible in this shot. (S11)


Glowing Puffleg - Eriocnemis vestita
Glowing Puffleg
Eriocnemis vestita arcosae
Cordillera de Lagunillas, Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador.
Female. (S6)


Black-thighed Puffleg - Eriocnemis derbyi
Black-thighed Puffleg
Eriocnemis derbyi
Termales del Ruiz, Villamaria, Caldas, Colombia.
Male. An unusual puffleg with the male having black leg puffs; the female (see below) looks very different. It ranges from central Colombia to northern Ecuador. (S13)


Black-thighed Puffleg - Eriocnemis derbyi
Black-thighed Puffleg
Eriocnemis derbyi
Termales del Ruiz, Villamaria, Caldas, Colombia.
Female. She has grayish-white leg puffs. (S13)


Marvelous Spatuletail - Loddigesia mirabilis
Marvelous Spatuletail
Loddigesia mirabilis
Huembo reserve, La Florida, Amazonas department, Peru.
Male. One of the world's most celebrated hummingbirds, and with good reason. A mediocre photo like this cannot convey just how cool this bird is! It is restricted to a tiny area of cloudforest in northern Peru. (S6)


Marvelous Spatuletail - Loddigesia mirabilis
Marvelous Spatuletail
Loddigesia mirabilis
Huembo reserve, La Florida, Amazonas department, Peru.
Juvenile male. (S6)


Shining Sunbeam - Aglaeactis cupripennis
Shining Sunbeam
Aglaeactis cupripennis cupripennis
Termales del Ruiz, Villamaria, Caldas, Colombia.
A common hummer of the high Andes from Colombia to Peru. The shining part is actually the back and rump, and it took me many years to be able to finally capture that in a photo. As seen in the next photo, it's usually not visible, hidden by the wings. (S13)


Shining Sunbeam - Aglaeactis cupripennis
Shining Sunbeam
Aglaeactis cupripennis cupripennis
Termales del Ruiz, Villamaria, Caldas, Colombia.
(S13)


Bronzy Inca - Coeligena coeligena
Bronzy Inca
Coeligena coeligena colombiana
Rio Blanco Reserva Natural, Caldas, Colombia.
I'm not sure what that stuff is on its bill. (S14)


Brown Inca - Coeligena wilsoni
Brown Inca
Coeligena wilsoni
Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
Male. A distinctive inca of the Chocó region. (S8)


Brown Inca - Coeligena wilsoni
Brown Inca
Coeligena wilsoni
Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Pichincha, Ecuador.
Male. (S8f)


Black Inca - Coeligena prunellei
Black Inca
Coeligena prunellei
RNA Reinita Cielo Azul, Santander department, Colombia.
Female. Probably the rarest member of the genus. It can be seen regularly along the Lengerke trail, which passes through the ProAves Colombia Cerulean Warbler reserve. (D3)


Collared Inca - Coeligena torquata
Collared Inca
Coeligena torquata torquata
Tapichalaca Reserve, Zamora-Chinchipe province, Ecuador.
Male. A common Andean cloudforest species. (S7)


Collared Inca - Coeligena torquata
Collared Inca
Coeligena torquata torquata
Jardín, Antioquia department, Colombia.
Female. (S5)


Collared (Gould's) Inca - Coeligena torquata omissa
Collared (Gould's) Inca
Coeligena torquata omissa
Aguas Calientes, Cusco department, Peru.
Male. Lumped with Collared Inca (e.g. SACC) despite its very distinct plumage and disjunct range. (S6f)


Violet-throated Starfrontlet - Coeligena violifer
Violet-throated Starfrontlet
Coeligena violifer dichroura
Bosque Unchog, Huánuco department, Peru.
Female. Found in the high Andes of Peru and western Bolivia. (S8)


White-tailed Starfrontlet - Coeligena phalerata
White-tailed Starfrontlet
Coeligena phalerata
El Dorado reserve, Santa Marta mountains, Magdalena, Colombia.
Male. Mt favorite of the hummers endemic to the Santa Marta range. Luckily it is also the most common one, and often comes to the feeders near the lodge in the reserve. (S8)


Dusky Starfrontlet - Coeligena orina
Dusky Starfrontlet
Coeligena orina
Dusky Starfrontlet reserve, Antioquia department, Colombia.
Two males. This is a fantasically beautiful hummer deserving of a better name - in fact, it's Spanish name "Colibrí del Sol" translates as "Hummingbird of the Sun" which is far cooler. This bird was rediscovered only in 2004, having gone unrecorded since the type specimen was collected in 1951. (S5)


Buff-winged Starfrontlet - Coeligena lutetiae
Buff-winged Starfrontlet
Coeligena lutetiae
Yanacocha reserve, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
Male. This hummer is very common at some high Andean sites in Ecuador. It also occurs in the central Andes of Colombia and in extreme northern Peru. A photo of the female is below. (S7)


Buff-winged Starfrontlet - Coeligena lutetiae
Buff-winged Starfrontlet
Coeligena lutetiae
Yanacocha reserve, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
Female. She was carrying a feather, perhaps to be used as nesting material. (S8)


Rainbow Starfrontlet - Coeligena iris
Rainbow Starfrontlet
Coeligena iris iris
Utuana reserve, Loja province, Ecuador.
Male. A big, unique hummer of the Tumbesian highlands of southern Ecuador and northwestern Peru. One of the most striking birds of the region. (S5)


Golden-bellied Starfrontlet - Coeligena bonapartei
Golden-bellied Starfrontlet
Coeligena bonapartei bonapartei
Parque Natural Chicaque, San Antonio del Tequendama, Cundinamarca, Colombia.
Male. This spectacular hummer is found in mountains in eastern Colombia and western Venezuela. It visits feeders at Chicaque, making it one of the most reliable spots to see it. (S8)


Golden-bellied Starfrontlet - Coeligena bonapartei
Golden-bellied Starfrontlet
Coeligena bonapartei bonapartei
Parque Natural Chicaque, San Antonio del Tequendama, Cundinamarca, Colombia.
Female. (S8)


Blue-throated Starfrontlet - Coeligena helianthea
Blue-throated Starfrontlet
Coeligena helianthea helianthea
Observatorio de Colibríes, La Calera, Cundinamarca, Colombia.
Male. This gorgeous hummer is almost endemic to Colombia, where it is found in the eastern Andes and the Sierra de Perijá; it also occurs just over the border into Venezuela. It is easily seen at this location, which was only recently opened to the public (advance reservations must be made). (S11)


Blue-throated Starfrontlet - Coeligena helianthea
Blue-throated Starfrontlet
Coeligena helianthea helianthea
Observatorio de Colibríes, La Calera, Cundinamarca, Colombia.
Male. (S11)


Blue-throated Starfrontlet - Coeligena helianthea
Blue-throated Starfrontlet
Coeligena helianthea helianthea
Observatorio de Colibríes, La Calera, Cundinamarca, Colombia.
Female. (S11)


Mountain Velvetbreast - Lafresnaya lafresnayi
Mountain Velvetbreast
Lafresnaya lafresnayi saul
Dusky Starfrontlet Reserve, Antioquia dept., Colombia.
Male. Widespread in high Andean forests from Venezuela to Peru. Unique among high Andean hummers with its strongly decurved bill. (S5)


Mountain Velvetbreast - Lafresnaya lafresnayi
Mountain Velvetbreast
Lafresnaya lafresnayi longirostris
Termales del Ruiz, Villamaria, Caldas, Colombia.
Female. (S13)


Sword-billed Hummingbird - Ensifera ensifera
Sword-billed Hummingbird
Ensifera ensifera
San Luis, Abra Malaga, Cuzco department, Peru.
Male. Probably the most recognizable hummer in the world! This iconic species is found in high Andean forest from Venezuela to Bolivia. (D7)


Sword-billed Hummingbird - Ensifera ensifera
Sword-billed Hummingbird
Ensifera ensifera
Termales del Ruiz, Villamaria, Caldas, Colombia.
Female. (S13)


Sword-billed Hummingbird - Ensifera ensifera
Sword-billed Hummingbird
Ensifera ensifera
Yanacocha reserve, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
I suspect this one is an immature male. (S8)


Sword-billed Hummingbird - Ensifera ensifera
Sword-billed Hummingbird
Ensifera ensifera
Observatorio de Colibríes, La Calera, Cundinamarca, Colombia.
Female. (S11)


Great Sapphirewing - Pterophanes cyanopterus
Great Sapphirewing
Pterophanes cyanopterus peruvianus
Yanacocha reserve, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
Male. One of the biggest hummingbirds; males are about 20 cm (8 in). (S4)


Great Sapphirewing - Pterophanes cyanopterus
Great Sapphirewing
Pterophanes cyanopterus peruvianus
Yanacocha reserve, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
Male. One of the biggest hummingbirds; males are about 20 cm (8 in). (S4)


Buff-tailed Coronet - Boissonneaua flavescens
Buff-tailed Coronet
Boissonneaua flavescens tinochlora
Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Pichincha Province, Ecuador.
Probably a male. In Ecuador, this species is far more common on the west slope of the Andes than the east. I suspect this is because the Chestnut-breasted Coronet (below), does not occur on the west slope, and these two similar species overlap widely in elevation where they are sympatric. (S6)


Buff-tailed Coronet - Boissonneaua flavescens
Buff-tailed Coronet
Boissonneaua flavescens tinochlora
Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Pichincha Province, Ecuador.
All coronets hold their wings out for about half a second after landing - this is the "classic" pose! (S8)


Buff-tailed Coronet - Boissonneaua flavescens
Buff-tailed Coronet
Boissonneaua flavescens tinochlora
Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Pichincha, Ecuador.
(S8f)


Buff-tailed Coronet - Boissonneaua flavescens
Buff-tailed Coronet
Boissonneaua flavescens flavescens
Rio Blanco Reserva Natural, Caldas, Colombia.
This is an example of the nominate subspecies, which has a paler and less cinnamon-tinged tail. (S14)


Buff-tailed Coronet - Boissonneaua flavescens
Buff-tailed Coronet
Boissonneaua flavescens flavescens
Guango Lodge, Napo, Ecuador.
I suspect it is an immature due to the buff edges to many of the feathers. (S8)


Chestnut-breasted Coronet - Boissonneaua matthewsii
Chestnut-breasted Coronet
Boissonneaua matthewsii
Abra Patricia, San Martín department, Peru.
A common cloudforest species on the east slope from southern Colombia to Peru. (S6)


Chestnut-breasted Coronet - Boissonneaua matthewsii
Chestnut-breasted Coronet
Boissonneaua matthewsii
Abra Patricia, San Martín department, Peru.
(S6)


Velvet-purple Coronet - Boissonneaua jardini
Velvet-purple Coronet
Boissonneaua jardini
El Siete, near the Mindo turnoff, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
Male. One of favorite of all the hummers. It's unique plumage seems to scintillate between every imaginable shade of black, blue, purple, and green, with the occasional shocking flash of pure white from its tail. It's another Chocó endemic, fortunately now easily seen in the Tandayapa-Mindo area of NW Ecuador. This is the cover photo of Birds of Western Ecuador. (S5)


Velvet-purple Coronet - Boissonneaua jardini
Velvet-purple Coronet
Boissonneaua jardini
Amaguza reserve, Mashpi, Pichincha, Ecuador.
Male. Another shot of this amazing bird. (S8)



Next page
Previous page
Back to gallery index












Website design and all photos copyright Nick Athanas
For questions, comments, or photograph licensing info, please email