Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)


Black-backed Thornbill (Ramphomicron dorsale)


French: Colibri à dos noir German: Schwarzer Kurzschnabelkolibri Spanish: Colibrí piquicorto dorsinegro

Ramphomicron dorsale

Salvin and Godman

, 1880,

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia


Closely related to R. microrhynchum. Possibly closely related also to Lesbia nuna. Monotypic.


Santa Marta Mts, in N Colombia.

Descriptive notes

9–10 cm; c. 3·5 g. Male has very short, slightly decurved black bill; upperparts velvety black, postocular spot white, uppertail-coverts purplish bronzy on tips... read more


Poorly known. Calls include a short dry rattle “trrr” repeated at intervals, and a long descending... read more


Edges of humid and elfin forest, páramo from 2000 m to snow-line at 4600 m. Forages... read more

Food and feeding

Nectar of flowering Ericaceae, Erythrina, Lobeliaceae, Melastomataceae, Puya, Rubiaceae and Salvia. Often clings... read more


No information available.


Seasonal altitudinal movements to lower slopes in May–Jun.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Santa Marta Mountains EBA. Uncommon. Suitable habitat is severely fragmented due to deforestation, burning and over... read more

Recommended citation

Züchner, T. & Boesman, P. (2019). Black-backed Thornbill (Ramphomicron dorsale). 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 11 December 2019).