Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Giant Hummingbird (Patagona gigas)


Taxonomy

French: Colibri géant German: Riesenkolibri Spanish: Colibrí gigante
Taxonomy:

Trochilus gigas

Vieillot

, 1824,

Brazil; error = Valparaíso, Chile

.

Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. g. peruviana Boucard, 1893 – Andes of SW Colombia (Nariño) S to extreme N Chile (Tarapacá) and NW Argentina (S to N Catamarca and Tucumán).
  • P. g. gigas (Vieillot, 1824) – C & S Chile (Atacama to Concepción and Valdivia, occasionally S to Aisén) and adjacent CW Argentina (S to Mendoza); S populations winter N to NW Argentina (Catamarca, Tucumán). Recorded repeatedly in summer in Sierras Grandes de Córdoba, in C Argentina#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    20–22 cm; 18·5–20·2 g, some birds may be over 23 g. Unmistakable, the largest hummingbird; hovers with very slow wingbeats, flight almost swift-like... read more

    Voice

    Song or chase call a mixture of squeaky piping whistles and trills, sounding somewhat passerine-... read more

    Habitat

    Favours arid, open habitats with low vegetation and few trees, usually not over 10 m in height.... read more

    Food and feeding

    In Ecuador and N Peru feeds mainly from Agave and Puya flowers; Agave was introduced to the area only in 16th... read more

    Breeding

    Mainly Dec–Mar (Ecuador), Sept–Mar (Peru) or Oct–Jan (Chile) and Feb (NW Argentina). Chilean populations sometimes have... read more

    Movements

    Populations of nominate race breeding in Chile and CW Argentina in spring and summer migrate across... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Throughout its extensive range species is generally not uncommon. Does not seem to be restricted to threatened habitat... read more

    Recommended citation

    Heynen, I., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Giant Hummingbird (Patagona gigas). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/55572 on 21 July 2017).