Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Blue-throated Starfrontlet (Coeligena helianthea)


French: Inca porphyre German: Rosenbauch-Andenkolibri Spanish: Inca ventrivioleta

Ornismya helianthea


, 1839,

Bogotá, Colombia


Thought probably closely related to C. violifer, C. lutetiae, C. bonapartei and C. eos (with species formerly included herein). Race name tamai sometimes misspelt as tamae. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. h. helianthea (Lesson, 1839) – N & E Andes of Colombia (Sierra de Perijá to Bogotá).
  • C. h. tamai Berlioz & Phelps, Sr, 1953 – Páramo de Tamá (Táchira), in W Venezuela.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 13 cm; male 7·1–7·6 g, female 6–6·5 g. Male has long, straight, black bill; head black with dark green frontlet, postocular spot white,... read more


    Rather silent and voice poorly known. Calls include single, strident “chit” notes.


    Cloudforest and dwarf forest, forest edge, shrubby slopes, also visits flowering gardens.... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food plants visited for nectar include Befaria, Bomarea, Cavendishia cordifolia, Elleanthus, ... read more


    May–Oct. No further information available.


    Unknown, but seasonal altitudinal dispersal likely.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Colombian East Andes EBA. Locally common. This species is probably more able than its congeners to... read more

    Recommended citation

    Züchner, T. & Boesman, P. (2020). Blue-throated Starfrontlet (Coeligena helianthea). 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 25 February 2020).