Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Bronzy Inca (Coeligena coeligena)


French: Inca céleste German: Bronzeandenkolibri Spanish: Inca bronceado
Other common names: Purple Inca (“C. purpurea”)

Ornismya coeligena


, 1833,

Mexico; error = Venezuela


On basis of genetic data, sister to a group formed by C. prunellei and C. wilsoni#R. Proposed race zuloagae, known only from type from Falcón (NW Venezuela), probably represents individual variation of nominate. Described form C. purpurea (Popayán, in SC Colombia) may be hybrid of present species and C. prunellei, or a dark variety of C. wilsoni, or even a separate species (possibly extinct)#R. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. zuliana Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1953 – Sierra de Perijá, on N Colombia–NW Venezuela border.
  • C. c. coeligena (Lesson, 1833) – N Venezuela mountains (Falcón E to Miranda).
  • C. c. columbiana (Elliot, 1876) – Andes of NW Venezuela (S from Lara and NW Barinas) and E Andes of Colombia (S to Huila).
  • C. c. ferruginea (Chapman, 1917) – C & W Andes of Colombia.
  • C. c. obscura (Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1902) – E slope of Andes of S Colombia (Nariño) S to Ecuador and Peru.
  • C. c. boliviana (Gould, 1861) – E slope in C & SE Bolivia (La Paz to Chuquisaca).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 14 cm; male c. 7·3 g, female c. 6·2 g, unsexed 8·6 g. Male has long, straight, black bill, mandible often yellowish at base, head and upperparts dark... read more


    Presumed song is a continuous series of single rather sweet “tseet” notes, at a rate of c. 1–1·6... read more


    Edges of humid pre-montane forest, at 1500–2600 m. Sometimes in open terrain with scattered... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar of flowering Fuchsia, Bomarea, Cavendishia, Centropogon, Heliconia and ... read more


    Nov–Mar. Nest cup-shaped, in understorey 1–1·5 m above ground, well hidden in fork of shrub, built of moss and plant... read more


    Seasonal movements occur but not well understood, perhaps follows breeding season.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Locally common. Although original habitat suffers from deforestation, species is not seriously affected because it accepts... read more

    Recommended citation

    Züchner, T. & Boesman, P. (2020). Bronzy Inca (Coeligena coeligena). 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).