Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Critically Endangered

Black-breasted Puffleg (Eriocnemis nigrivestis)


French: Érione à robe noire German: Schwarzbauch-Höschenkolibri Spanish: Calzadito pechinegro

Trochilus nigrivestis

Bourcier and Mulsant

, 1852,

Tumbaco, Ecuador


Closely related to E. isabellae, E. vestita and E. derbyi. Proposed taxon E. soderstromi of doubtful validity; regarded by some authors as a hybrid of present species and E. luciani, or a race or aberrant form of E. godini. Monotypic.


NW Ecuador, mainly on NW ridge-crests of Volcán Pichincha and possibly on Volcán Atacazo (Pichincha); also in Cordillera de Toisán above the Intag Valley (Esmeraldas and Imbabura)#R.

Descriptive notes

8–9 cm; 4·3–4·6 g. Male has straight, black bill; upperparts entirely blackish with only a faint green sheen in certain lights, uppertail-coverts... read more


Poorly known. Song a monotonous, metallic “tzeet...tzeet...tzeet...”. When hovering, utters a soft... read more


Confined to crests of ridges on mountains around Quito, the species appears to depend on certain... read more

Food and feeding

Territorial. Prefers flowers of Palicourea huigrensis, a small rubiad tree with bright blue flowers; also feeds on nectar from a... read more


Oct–Mar. Clutch two white eggs; incubation by female. No further information available.


Records suggest occurrence at higher elevations outside breeding season; see Habitat.

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Central Andean Páramo EBA. Rare and local, and apparently close to extinction. Two subpopulations... read more

Recommended citation

Heynen, I., Boesman, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Black-breasted Puffleg (Eriocnemis nigrivestis). 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).