It is a hummingbird of average size. Long and slender bill. Its tones vary between black and greenish black, passing through green and aquamarines. Its beautiful colors are appreciated in good daylight. Inhabitant of humid forests and gardens.


This hummingbird has a length of 11.2 cm. Its beak is long, measuring approximately 33mm, it is straight and thin. The male is mainly black in color, varying to greenish-black. The forehead is an iridescent green color; It has uppers in an iridescent aquamarine hue. It has an iridescent blue-violet throat patch. Its belly is iridescent pink. Its tail is slightly forked, in a variation of bronze black tones. The female, above, is greenish-black with iridescent aquamarine uppers; Mainly, she has a cinnamon tone underneath, the sides are stained green and her belly is also stained, in an iridescent pink color.

Similar species

The male looks spectacular when viewed in very good light, but the colors are usually difficult to see in the field. It has a blue-green rump and a pink belly (both sexes) are diagnostic. The Inca Dorado has an orange and purple rump and belly. The Black Inca has white pectoral locks.

Regional Differences

In Colombia we find the subspecies helianthea.


It is found in the northern and eastern Andes of Colombia and northwestern Venezuela. In Colombia it is found from 1900 to 3300 m above sea level (mainly from 2400 to 2900m) in the Serranía de Perijá and also on both slopes of the Eastern mountain range from the north of Santander to Cundinamarca (Bogotá area).


This species is fairly common and local in the humid forest, adjacent to edges and on slopes with bushes or around hedges and gardens. It is seen near rooms. It is often found in the garden of Simón Bolívar’s house (which is open to the public) in Bogotá. It also tolerates more open terrain than other Coeligena from Colombia.


It feeds on various species of ericaceae, also on epiphytes such as Cavendishia, also on Symbolanthus, nasturtiums such as Tropaeolum, and some passion flowers.


1 male was found in reproductive condition, in May, in the Serranía de Perijá; and 1 in August, in Santander.


As in others of the genus, it is a low-flowered rutero, often attracted to mixed bands.

State of conservation

At the international level, this species is considered to be of least concern.


It is also known as the Violet-bellied Hummingbird.

Vocalization / Voice


Hilty, S. L. and W. L. Brown. 2001. Guide to the Birds of Colombia. Princetn. Univ. Press, Princeton, NJ

Hilty, S. L. 2003. A guide to the birds of Venezuela. Second ed. Princetn. Univ. Press, Princeton, NJ

Remsen, J. V., Jr., C. D. Cadena, A. Jaramillo, M. Nores, J. F. Pacheco, J. Pérez-Emán, M. B. Robbins, F. G. Stiles, D. F. Stotz, and K. J. Zimmer. Version 9 February 2011. A classification of the bird species of South America. American Ornithologists’ Union.