Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Buff-winged Starfrontlet (Coeligena lutetiae)


French: Inca à gemme bleue German: Fahlflügel-Andenkolibri Spanish: Inca alihabano

Trochilus Lutetiæ

DeLattre and Bourcier

, 1846,

Puracé Volcano, near Popayán, Colombia


Appears to be closely related to C. orina, C. bonapartei and C. helianthea#R. Proposed form C. traviesi is most likely a hybrid between present species and C. torquata. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. l. lutetiae (DeLattre & Bourcier, 1846) – C Andes of Colombia S on E slope through Ecuador to extreme N Peru (E Piura, NW Cajamarca).
  • C. l. albimaculata Sánchez Osés, 2006 – W slope in NW Ecuador (Carchi S to N Bolívar).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 14 cm; male 6·9–7·2 g, female c. 6·6 g. Male has long, slightly upturned, black bill; upperparts velvety black with green glittering frontlet,... read more


    A thin, wiry chatter with rattles, often heard during high-speed aerial chases. Also a... read more


    From dense cloudforest to Polylepis woodland in sub-páramo at 2600–... read more

    Food and feeding

    Flowers visited for nectar include mistletoes, Bomarea, Cavendishia and Fuchsia. Arthropods are caught by... read more


    Aug–Sept (C Andes, Colombia). Bulky cup-shaped nest of moss constructed 2–4 m above ground in forked branches. Clutch two white... read more


    Sedentary, most likely some seasonal dispersal following flowering.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Uncommon to locally common. Polylepis woodlands and sub-páramo zones are under severe threat of deforestation. In... read more

    Recommended citation

    Züchner, T., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Buff-winged Starfrontlet (Coeligena lutetiae). 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).