Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Andean Hillstar (Oreotrochilus estella)


French: Colibri d’Estelle German: Estella-Andenkolibri Spanish: Colibrí puneño
Other common names: Stripe-bellied Hillstar (estella), Bolivian Hillstar (bolivianus)

Trochilus Estella

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1838,

La Paz and Potosí, Bolivia


Thought to be closely related to O. chimborazo, O. stolzmanni and O. leucopleurus, and all four have been considered conspecific; separated largely on morphological grounds; the last-mentioned overlaps slightly with present species, and some hybridization reported, but despite this it is the form least frequently lumped into present species; O. stolzmanni frequently considered a race of present species, including in recent guide#R, but see below. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. e. estella (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1838) – Andes of SW Peru (from Ayacucho), W Bolivia, N Chile (Tarapacá, Antofagasta) and NW Argentina (S to Tucumán).
  • O. e. bolivianus Boucard, 1893 – Andes of C Bolivia (Cochabamba).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–15 cm; male c. 8·8 g, female c. 8·0 g. Male has medium-sized, slightly decurved black bill; drab brown above; very shiny emerald-green gorget with... read more


    Calls include a repeated short “tsip” or “swit”. Also a rapid, melodious, passerine-like twittering... read more


    Inhabits puna grasslands, where most commonly found around rocky outcrops and in other... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds while perched, taking nectar from the orange flowers of Chuquiragua spinosa shrubs and from low cushion cacti. Also visits... read more


    Season Sept–Feb. Females hold territories in bushy gorges with rocks, several females nesting semi-colonially in particularly... read more


    During the breeding season males move around in the grassland. Remains in the uplands during short... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. One of the commonest puna birds, except in areas where traditional burning and overgrazing have severely reduced... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fjeldså, J., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). Andean Hillstar (Oreotrochilus estella). 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).