Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Black-breasted Brilliant (Heliodoxa whitelyana)


French: Brillant de Whiteley German: Schwarzkehl-Brillantkolibri Spanish: Brillante pechinegro

Iolæma whitelyana


, 1872,

Cosnipata, Cuzco, Peru


Formerly separated, with H. schreibersii, in genus Ionolaima. Probably closely related to H. aurescens. Hitherto considered conspecific with H. schreibersii, but differs in lack of glittering green breastband (2); lack of green frons (3); black vs green flanks, making for overall blacker underparts (2); female tail as long as male’s (shorter in schreibersii)#R (not fully verified owing to small sample size, but score presumably at least 1). Monotypic.


CE & SE Peru (Pasco and Junín to N Cuzco#R, and W Madre de Dios).

Descriptive notes

13–14 cm. Previously treated as conspecific with H. schreibersii. Bill almost straight and dark (2·8 cm). Male has forehead, crown and rest of... read more


Presumed song is a repeated, drawn-out, descending reeling trill lasting c. 3 seconds (sample size... read more


Humid montane forest at elevations of 600–1250 m.

Food and feeding

No known differences from H. schreibersii.


No data.


Presumably sedentary, like H. schreibersii.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Seems to be rather uncommon and patchily distributed, but scarcity of reliable data concerning abundance makes overall assessment difficult... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Black-breasted Brilliant (Heliodoxa whitelyana). 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 17 January 2020).