Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Blue-throated Goldentail (Hylocharis eliciae)


French: Saphir d’Élicia German: Goldschwanz-Saphirkolibri Spanish: Zafiro de Elicia
Other common names: Blue-throated Sapphire

Trochilus Eliciæ

Bourcier and Mulsant

, 1846,

no locality = Cobán, Alta Vera Paz, Guatemala


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. e. eliciae (Bourcier & Mulsant, 1846) – SE Mexico (from S Veracruz and SE Oaxaca) and Belize S patchily to S Costa Rica.
  • H. e. earina Wetmore, 1967 – W Panama, including Coiba I and islands in Bay of Panama, to extreme NW Colombia (N Chocó).
  • Descriptive notes

    9 cm; male 4·1 g, female 3·6 g. Maxilla and mandible of male bill red with black tip, that of female with culmen and tip black; feet dark grey. Male bronzy... read more


    Quite vocal, sings at leks. Song quite variable, typically a repeated phrase comprising 5–15 notes... read more


    In humid areas prefers forest edge, tall second growth, semi-open, light woodland, gardens and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Visits flowers of shrubs (Stachytarpheta, Hamelia), large herbs (Heliconia, Renealmia, Thalea... read more


    Dry season, Dec–Apr. During breeding season male sings thin, piercing song of variable phrases of 5–8 notes from perches on... read more


    Little information; presumably more or less sedentary except for local wanderings during flowering.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Uncommon to locally common, freely entering open or disturbed areas; has probably increased in some areas, following forest clearance; may... read more

    Recommended citation

    Stiles, F.G. & Boesman, P. (2019). Blue-throated Goldentail (Hylocharis eliciae). 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 21 May 2019).