Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Blue-tufted Starthroat (Heliomaster furcifer)


French: Colibri d’Angèle German: Blaubartkolibri Spanish: Colibrí de barbijo

Trochilus Furcifer


, 1812,



Formerly isolated as the only species in present genus on basis of forked tail, pointed rectrices and details of bill morphology, the remaining three species being placed in genera Anthoscenus and Lepidolarynx; the distinguishing features, however, vary in a continuum between present species and H. constantii and H. longirostris, with H. squamosus occupying an intermediate position, and treatment of all four as congeners now generally accepted. Monotypic.


C & E Bolivia (from Cochabamba and Tarija), Paraguay and SC & S Brazil (Mato Grosso, Goiás and Minas Gerais to Rio Grande do Sul) S to N Argentina (S to Catamarca, Córdoba and N Buenos Aires) and Uruguay. Single records from extreme SE Colombia (Leticia), NE Ecuador (E Napo) and Acre (extreme W Brazil).

Descriptive notes

12·6–13 cm; 5–6·5 g. Male has long, slightly decurved black bill; crown, nape and upper mantle emerald-green, rest of upperparts shining coppery... read more


Call a descending, pure-whistled “tseep”, repeated at intervals.


Forest border, cerrado and lowland grasslands.

Food and feeding

Nectar of flowering Loranthaceae, Leguminosae, Zingiberaceae, Bromeliaceae, Liliaceae, Lobeliaceae, Verbenaceae and Cactaceae, foraging at... read more


Nov–Mar. Cup-shaped nest of soft seed fibre, outside decorated with lichen, is built 3–6 m above the ground. Clutch size two... read more


Poorly known. Apparently performs some sort of migration or at least dispersal; reports of birds... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Locally fairly common to rare. Present in Chancaní Nature Reserve (Argentina) and Espinilho State Park (Brazil). In N of range in... read more

Recommended citation

Schuchmann, K.L., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Blue-tufted Starthroat (Heliomaster furcifer). 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 13 December 2019).