Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Canivet's Emerald (Chlorostilbon canivetii)


French: Émeraude de Canivet German: Gabelschwanz-Smaragdkolibri Spanish: Esmeralda de Canivet
Other common names: Fork-tailed Emerald, Salvin's Emerald (salvini)

Ornismya canivetii


, 1832,

Brazil; error = Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico


Formerly treated as one of many races of C. mellisugus (which see); an alternative was, on basis of bill colour, to treat the five N subspecies (present species with auriceps, forficatus, osberti and salvini) as a separate species. A more radical evaluation of the complex#R is largely followed here but, owing to both the sheer number of taxa in the original complex and the diaspora of specimen material, comparisons between taxa and decisions on their taxonomic status are limited mainly to geographical neighbours. Thus, present form, including races osberti and salvini, is specifically distinct from C. auriceps, C. forficatus and C. assimilis on account of the diagnoses given under those species. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. canivetii (Lesson, 1832) – SE Mexico (S Tamaulipas to Yucatán), Belize, N Guatemala, and Bay Is (Honduras).
  • C. c. osberti Gould, 1860 – SE Mexico (extreme SE Chiapas), W & C Guatemala and El Salvador to Honduras and W Nicaragua.
  • C. c. salvini (Cabanis & Heine, 1860) – NW Costa Rica (highlands of Pacific coast).
  • Descriptive notes

    7·5–9 cm; 2·1–2·8 g. Straight red bill with black tip and maxilla, equal in length to head or slightly longer. Male has moderately forked blue-black tail, head and body... read more


    Song a series of 3–4 high-pitched descending notes, “pseeeuw...pseeeuw...pseeeuw”, sometimes... read more


    Brushy woodland and scrub, overgrown clearings and forest edge, as well as savannas and cultivated... read more

    Food and feeding

    Almost no information on species of flowers that are visited, but probably many different small, short-tubed, largely insect-pollinated... read more


    Season Feb–May (canivetii), with a female observed carrying nesting material in May on Cayos Cochinos, Honduras (also nominate),... read more


    No definite information, but only occasionally recorded south to Punta Gorda in Belize, while in E... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Readily accepts man-altered habitats and no evidence of any population declines. Generally common throughout much of its extensive range, e... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). Canivet's Emerald (Chlorostilbon canivetii). 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 21 May 2019).