Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer (Chalybura urochrysia)


French: Colibri à queue bronzée German: Bronzeschwanz-Buffonkolibri Spanish: Colibrí patirrojo
Other common names: Red-footed Plumeleteer, Dusky Plumeleteer (melanorrhoa)

Hypuroptila urochrysia


, 1861,

western Colombia


Race melanorrhoa long considered a separate species, presumably on basis of its sooty-black vent (no other notable character), but intergrades with isaurae along border of Costa Rica with Panama; isaurae was also treated as a separate species. Geographically isolated race intermedia often placed in C. buffonii, but its largely pinkish mandible supports treatment in present species; nevertheless, it may be better considered a separate species, as also suggested earlier#R; it possesses a deep metallic blue vs bronzy-green tail (3) and dull but glittering turquoise-blue vs green belly (2), and its elevational range is “mostly 500–1750 m”#R while other subspecies are in the lowlands, but elevation in N Peru given as “up to 800 m”#R; more study required. Proposed race incognita (E Panama) probably best treated as a synonym of isaurae. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. u. melanorrhoa Salvin, 1865 – Black-vented Plumeleteer – Caribbean slope of E Honduras, E Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
  • C. u. isaurae (Gould, 1861) – Blue-breasted Plumeleteer – Caribbean slope of Panama to extreme NW Colombia; locally on Pacific slope in W & C Panama, and extensively in E Panama.
  • C. u. urochrysia (Gould, 1861) – Green-breasted Plumeleteer – extreme SE Panama (E Darién), NC & W Colombia, and extreme NW Ecuador (N Esmeraldas).
  • C. u. intermedia E. J. O. Hartert & C. Hartert, 1894 – Ecuadorian Plumeleteer – subtropical zone of SW Ecuador (El Oro) and NW Peru (Tumbes).
  • Descriptive notes

    10·5–12 cm; male 7·1 g, female 6·1 g. Conspicuous red or pink feet (no definite information for intermedia); bill black with basal half or... read more


    Presumed song a soft, nasal, scratchy, trilled phrase, “ter-twee-ee-ee-ee-ee....ter-twee-ee-ee...”... read more


    Understorey and middle strata of humid forest, forest borders, adjacent tall second growth and semi... read more

    Food and feeding

    Both sexes visit mainly flowers of large herbs (Renealmia, Costus and especially Heliconia) and shrubs (... read more


    In Costa Rica, Dec or (more often) Feb–May; Feb–Apr in W Colombia. Breeding male often defends flower-centred territories which... read more


    In melanorrhoa, mainly local movements in response to seasonal shifts in flowering; no... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. In some parts of range such as Costa Rica and N Colombia, species has suffered considerable loss of forest habitat, but it remains locally... read more

    Recommended citation

    Stiles, F.G. & Boesman, P. (2020). Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer (Chalybura urochrysia). 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 3 April 2020).