Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Azure-crowned Hummingbird (Amazilia cyanocephala)


French: Ariane à couronne azur German: Blaukopfamazilie Spanish: Amazilia coroniazul

Ornismya cyanocephalus


, 1830,

Brazil; error = Veracruz, Mexico


Sometimes placed in genus Agyrtria. Race chlorostephana has been suggested as possibly approaching species status, but nominate (in E of range) shows clinal variation in crown colour (blue to green) towards chlorostephana; nevertheless, the smaller size and different habitat use (pine savanna) of chlorostephana suggest a significantly divergent taxon worthy of further taxonomic research. Birds from Belize S to N Nicaragua formerly separated as race guatemalensis, but specimens from C & E Guatemala, including type locality of guatemalensis (Dueñas), show strong intergradation with nominate birds from Chiapas (S Mexico). In recent study, however, it was found that populations were separated genetically (mtDNA) by Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and this, together with associated morphological and environmental-niche differences observed, and results of coalescent-based test, indicated that selection had been sufficiently strong to counter effects of gene flow#R; further study needed. Proposed species A. microrhyncha (Honduras and Nicaragua), known from two specimens and separated in part on basis of unusually short bill, does not merit even subspecific recognition because characters appear to be based on individual variation of present species or are those of juvenile, probably of nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. c. cyanocephala (Lesson, 1830) – Azure-crowned Hummingbird – E & S Mexico (S from S Tamaulipas) to E Honduras and NC Nicaragua.
  • A. c. chlorostephana T. R. Howell, 1965 – Mosquitia Hummingbird – Mosquito Coast of E Honduras and NE Nicaragua.
  • Descriptive notes

    10–11 cm; male 5·8 g, female 5·2 g. Most similar to A. violiceps, but latter is entirely allopatric and A. cyanocephala has blackish... read more


    Song apparently undescribed, but perhaps is the fairly mellow series of strong chipping notes,... read more


    Inhabits pine and pine–oak forest, cloudforest and rainforest, edges of humid forest; also... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on nectar, especially at flowering epiphytes, but also Hamelia patens and Palicourea padifolia (Rubiaceae), among... read more


    Varies with region; in Mexico, Feb–Aug; in Belize, Jan–Jul; in Guatemala, data on gonadal activity indicate Jul–Sept; in... read more


    Some populations are sedentary, for instance in Veracruz and San Luis Potosí (Mexico),... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common in pine and pine-oak forests of the highlands of interior Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, rarer in cloudforest and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Weller, A.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Azure-crowned Hummingbird (Amazilia cyanocephala). 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 24 January 2020).