Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Bumblebee Hummingbird (Atthis heloisa)


French: Colibri héloïse German: Rosenkehlelfe Spanish: Colibrí de Eloísa

Ornismya Heloisa

Lesson and DeLattre

, 1839,

Jalapa and Coatepec, Veracruz, Mexico


Closely related to A. ellioti; has been considered conspecific, but the two differ in courtship behaviour, song structure, wing morphology, and coloration, and thus merit treatment as separate species. Proposed race morcomi, known from two old specimens from SE Arizona, is a synonym of nominate; presumably based on vagrants, or mislabelled specimens. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. h. margarethae R. T. Moore, 1937 – highlands of NW & W Mexico (SE Sinaloa and SW Chihuahua to Jalisco).
  • A. h. heloisa (Lesson & DeLattre, 1839) – highlands of NE, C & S Mexico (C Tamaulipas S to Guerrero and Oaxaca).
  • Descriptive notes

    7–7·5 cm; 2–2·7 g. Male has short, straight, black bill; upperparts green, white postocular stripe, greyish auriculars; gorget elongated at sides,... read more


    Song a drawn-out, pure, high-pitched, overslurred whistle, typically starting with an introductory... read more


    Humid to semi-humid forest edges, pine and pine-oak woodland and clearings at 1500–3000 m.... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on nectar of flowering Erythrina, Opuntia, Salvia, Cuphea jorullensis, Penstemon perfoliatus... read more


    Birds in breeding condition Apr–Jul. Female sitting on nest recorded in Jalisco State in Mar. No further information available.


    Sedentary, with occasional northward dispersal; old records from SE Arizona (USA), though possible... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common throughout range. Seems to accept disturbed areas like clearings to some extent. Regularly recorded at Cerro de San... read more

    Recommended citation

    Züchner, T. & Boesman, P. (2019). Bumblebee Hummingbird (Atthis heloisa). 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 7 December 2019).