Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Blue-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia cyanura)


French: Ariane à queue bleue German: Blauschwanzamazilie Spanish: Amazilia coliazul

Amazilia cyanura


, 1859,

Realejo, Nicaragua


Sometimes placed in genus Saucerottia. Closely related to A. beryllina; reports of hybridization in a small zone of sympatry in Guatemala and El Salvador seem to be unproven, and may be erroneously based on variable tail coloration of that species. In recent literature only two races have been recognized, with impatiens (from Costa Rica) ignored, perhaps because only two specimens exist; morphological characters, however, indicate that it should be considered valid. Race guatemalae considered “as distinct as many recognized hummingbird species”#R, with a more purplish, less coppery back and rump and less extensive rufous in wings (these characters seem correlated) (2); specimens in NHMUK have a far more metallic green crown, but this requires confirmation; situation merits further study. Races show highly disjunct distribution. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. c. guatemalae (Dearborn, 1907) – Guatemalan Hummingbird – SE Mexico (SE Chiapas) to S Guatemala.
  • A. c. cyanura Gould, 1859 – Blue-tailed Hummingbird – S Honduras, E El Salvador and NW Nicaragua.
  • A. c. impatiens (Bangs, 1906) – NW & C Costa Rica.
  • Descriptive notes

    9–10 cm; 4·0 g. Male has straight, medium-sized, blackish bill, except for reddish base of lower mandible; crown, nape and back golden to bronze-green; rump with... read more


    Poorly known. Presumed song is a repeated short squeaky phrase of some 5–6 notes, “tzi-tzee-tzup …... read more


    Found in humid and arid forests with pine or oak, second growth, clearings, semi-open to open areas... read more

    Food and feeding

    Forages for nectar at various heights; often seen at flowering Inga trees. Hawks for insects in the air.


    No information available.


    Chiefly sedentary, although altitudinal distribution may vary with season.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in North Central American Pacific Slope EBA. Status differs over range. Generally, common in the Pacific... read more

    Recommended citation

    Weller, A.A. & Boesman, P. (2019). Blue-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia cyanura). 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 23 May 2019).