Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Bolivian Starfrontlet (Coeligena violifer)


French: Inca violifère German: Veilchenkehl-Andenkolibri Spanish: Inca boliviano
Other common names: Violet-throated Starfrontlet (when lumped with previous three species)

Trochilus (——?) violifer


, 1846,

Sandillani Road, Yungas, Bolivia


Probably close to C. lutetiae, C. bonapartei, C. eos and C. helianthea. Hitherto lumped with C. dichroura, C. albicaudata and C. osculans (which see for diagnoses); distinctiveness of violifer upheld by its lack of glittering frons (2); violet throat patch relatively large inside greatly reduced green breast patch, scarcely glittering, bounded by thin but distinct white line (3); strong rufous belly and almost entirely rufous tail vs either (a) green-white or green-buff belly and pale rufous or white tail with broad tips (dichroura, albicaudata) or (b) pale rufous belly, pale rufous outer tail with darker rufous central feathers and broad dark tips (osculans) (3). Monotypic.


E Andes slope in CW Bolivia (La Paz to W Santa Cruz).

Descriptive notes

13–14·5 cm; male 8–13 g, female 4–6 g. Male has long, straight, black bill (3·6–4 cm); head blackish blue, postocular spot white, back... read more


Presumed song is a mellow drawn-out whistle followed by three nasal notes “drreeeuw…nyeh-nyeh-nyeh... read more


Edges and clearings of cloudforest and elfin forest, sometimes in second growth, at 1300–3700... read more

Food and feeding

Nectar of flowering Vrisea, Fuchsia and Bomarea. Arthropods are caught by gleaning or hawking. Feeds by trap-... read more


Nov–Jan. No further information available.


Wide altitudinal range and only occasional occurrence below 2800 m suggest some seasonal dispersal... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Overall range has been estimated at 43,500 km². Habitat partially under threat of deforestation and species is suspected to... read more

Recommended citation

Züchner, T., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Bolivian Starfrontlet (Coeligena violifer). 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 26 January 2020).