Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Black-tailed Trainbearer (Lesbia victoriae)


French: Porte-traîne lesbie German: Schwarzschwanzsylphe Spanish: Colibrí colilargo mayor

Trochilus Victoriæ

Bourcier and Mulsant

, 1846,



Differences in display and behaviour do not suggest particularly close relationship with L. nuna; may be more closely related to Sappho sparganurus. Proposed race aequatorialis (W Ecuador) doubtfully distinct from nominate, only difference documented being in tail length, which is quite a variable character within nominate. Proposed race eucharis (from C Peru, formerly thought to have come from Colombia) was provisionally placed in present species before transfer to L. nuna, but now thought to be a hybrid between the two#R. Described form L. ortoni is probably a hybrid between present species and Ramphomicron microrhynchum, and Zodalia glyceria a hybrid between present species and Chalcostigma herrani#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. v. victoriae (Bourcier & Mulsant, 1846) – E Andes of N Colombia (Norte de Santander to Bogotá) and of S Colombia (Nariño) and Ecuador (S to Azuay).
  • L. v. juliae (E. J. O. Hartert, 1899) – Andes of S Ecuador (S Loja) to C Peru (S to Huánuco and N Lima).
  • L. v. berlepschi (Hellmayr, 1915) – Andes of SE Peru (Junín to Cuzco).
  • Descriptive notes

    14·9–26 cm (including tail of 11·2–18 cm); c. 5·1–5·3 g. Male has slightly decurved bill, black; above shining bronzy-green,... read more


    Presumed song a repeated gravelly squeaky “skreee...skreee...” and similar variations. Calls... read more


    Forest edges on mountain slopes, Polylepis woodland, gardens and sub-páramo... read more

    Food and feeding

    Forages for nectar at middle to high strata of flowering Bignoniaceae, Fabaceae, Gesneriaceae, Leguminosaceae, Puya and introduced... read more


    Oct–Mar (Quito), Sept–Oct (Bogotá), Jun–Aug (Nariño). Nest cup-shaped, interior made out of fine plant... read more


    Some altitudinal dispersal most likely following flowering season.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Generally rather common. Although parts of habitat are heavily altered by human activities, including deforestation of Polylepis... read more

    Recommended citation

    Züchner, T., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Black-tailed Trainbearer (Lesbia victoriae). 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 19 February 2020).