Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus amethysticollis)


French: Héliange à gorge améthyste German: Amethystsonnennymphe Spanish: Colibrí gorjiamatista

Ornismya amethysticollis

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1838,

Yuracares, Cochabamba, Bolivia


Closely related to H. clarisse, with which formerly considered conspecific; morphological differences, however, support their treatment as separate species. H. strophianus may belong in same group. Recently described apurimacensis has been suggested as possibly a separate species#R, but further study needed. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. a. laticlavius Salvin, 1891 – Andes in S Ecuador and N Peru (to N Cajamarca).
  • H. a. decolor J. T. Zimmer, 1951 – E slope in C Peru (S of R Marañón, to Junín).
  • H. a. apurimacensis Weller, 2009 – E slope in S Peru (Ayacucho to Cuzco)
  • H. a. amethysticollis (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1838) – E slope of Andes in S Peru and NW Bolivia (to Cochabamba).
  • Descriptive notes

    10 cm; 3·8–7·7 g. Male has blackish bill, straight, rather short; above shining dark green with a glittering green frontlet; underparts with throat and... read more


    Call a short, buzzy, dry trill (length c. 0·2 seconds), repeated at intervals.


    Wet and humid montane forests (cloudforest and dwarf and elfin forest) with abundant moss and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Defends feeding territories over concentrated nectar resources, preferably centred on food plants with short corollas such as ... read more


    May–Aug (Colombia) and Feb–Mar (Peru); nest is built of moss, lichens and other fine plant fibres about 1·5 m above... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Fairly common and sometimes even abundant. Range has recently been extended further N in Ecuador to Napo province. Protected by reserves in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Heynen, I., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus amethysticollis). 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 on 21 May 2019).