Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Collared Inca (Coeligena torquata)


French: Inca à collier German: Violettscheitel-Andenkolibri Spanish: Inca acollarado
Other common names: White-cravat Hummingbird

Ornismia [sic] torquata


, 1840,

Bogotá, Colombia


Relationships uncertain within the complex containing C. conradii, present species, C. eisenmanni and C. inca (also relationship to C. prunellei and C. wilsoni); further studies needed. Present species is closely related to C. inca, and traditionally considered conspecific, but differs by its broader white vs narrower rufous breast patch (4); black then blue or blue then green crown vs green then dark crown (3); paler green uppertail (1). Hitherto included C. conradii and C. eisenmanni as subspecies, but they are significantly distinct in plumage. Race fulgidigula is fairly distinctive, with much more extensively and reflectively green throat (including moustachial area) in male (3) and rather paler grey belly in female (1), but additional characters in HBW (paler upperparts and larger breast patch) are not well supported in AMNH and NHMUK material; races insectivora and margaretae resemble fulgidigula but for their green crown patches. Described forms C. traviesi and C. lawrencei are most likely hybrids between present species and, respectively, C. lutetiae and Lafresnaya lafresnayi. Four subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. t. torquata (Boissonneau, 1840) – Collared Inca – Andes of NW Venezuela (Táchira) through Colombia and E Ecuador to N Peru (E Piura).
  • C. t. fulgidigula (Gould, 1854) – Blue-crowned Inca – W slope in Ecuador (S to Chimborazo).
  • C. t. margaretae J. T. Zimmer, 1948 – E slope of Andes of N Peru (C Amazonas to E La Libertad and San Martín).
  • C. t. insectivora (Tschudi, 1844) – Peruvian Inca – E slope in C Peru (Huánuco to Ayacucho).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 14·5 cm; male 5·1–6·9 g, female 3·8–12·9 g (nominate). Male has long, straight, black bill; head black with dark purple... read more


    Commonest vocalization is a squeaky chatter, often a repeated phrase such as “tsi-tsi-tsiririt...... read more


    Understorey to lower canopy of humid montane cloudforest, forest borders and occasionally in sub-... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar of flowering Bomarea carderi, Cavendishia pubescens, C. guatapeensis, Fuchsia, Loasa,... read more


    Nov–Mar (Colombia); Aug–Dec (E Ecuador); Mar (C Peru). Cup-shaped nest hidden under ferns on rock cliffs 1·5–2 m... read more


    No information available, but possibly undertakes seasonal short-distance movements and dispersal... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Very common throughout much of range. To date no threats have been recorded, but since its habitat, humid montane... read more

    Recommended citation

    Züchner, T., de Juana, E., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Collared Inca (Coeligena torquata). 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 30 March 2020).