Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Brown Violet-ear (Colibri delphinae)


French: Colibri de Delphine German: Brauner Veilchenohrkolibri Spanish: Colibrí pardo

Ornismya Delphinæ


, 1839,

no locality = Santa Fé de Bogotá, Colombia


Proposed race greenewalti (Serra do Sincorá, E Brazil), claimed to differ very subtly in coloration, appears insufficiently distinct to merit recognition. Monotypic.


Mountains from Guatemala and Belize S to Colombia, thence S to W Ecuador, E Peru and N Bolivia, and E to Venezuela, Trinidad, Guyana and NC Brazil (Roraima); E Brazil (Serra do Sincorá, in Bahia).

Descriptive notes

11–12 cm; male 5·5–8 g, female 6·1 g (Panama, Trinidad, Costa Rica), two unsexed 5·5 g (Venezuela). Sexes similar in color­ation but male... read more


Song typically comprises 4–7 loud, bisyllabic “chit” or “jit” notes (also rendered “p’tip”) lasting... read more


Canopy and edges of humid forest, tall second growth, semi-open habitats like coffee plantations... read more

Food and feeding

Visits a variety of flowers, usually those with short corollas (or nectariferous bracts) including those of trees (Inga, ... read more


Late wet and early dry seasons: Nov–May in Costa Rica; Dec–Jan in E Venezuela (although leks maintained until Apr, in both... read more


In most areas breeds mainly above 500–900 m, descending to lower elevations outside breeding... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Scarce, or at least infrequently recorded, over most of broad range, especially in N Central America (where, for instance,... read more

Recommended citation

Stiles, F.G. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Brown Violet-ear (Colibri delphinae). 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 19 January 2020).