Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Cuban Emerald (Chlorostilbon ricordii)


French: Émeraude de Ricord German: Kubasmaragdkolibri Spanish: Esmeralda zunzún

Ornismya Ricordii


, 1835,

Santiago, Cuba


Considered to be closely related to C swainsonii and C. maugaeus, and all three formerly separated in genus Riccordia [sic]. In the past, †C. bracei was included as an extinct race, but this form now thought most likely to have been a separate species (see Family Text). Monotypic.


Cuba (including Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo and numerous other cays) and I of Pines; and Bahamas (Grand Bahama, Great Abaco, Andros, Green Cay; casual in rest of Bahamas).

Descriptive notes

Male 10·5–11·5 cm, female 9·5–10·5 cm; 2·5–5 g. Male has slightly decurved, short bill, upper mandible dull black, lower... read more


Male song is high-pitched, a rapid rolling series of “slee” notes and sputtering metallic sounds, e... read more


Occupies a variety of wooded habitats from sea-level up to at least 1300 m, exceptionally c. 1975 m... read more

Food and feeding

Nectar of flowering shrubs and trees, including Barleria cristata and Tabebuia rosae. Insects are caught in the air by... read more


All year, but perhaps mainly Apr–Jul in Cuba. Gregarious nesting recorded on Cuba, with six nests located, averaging c. 30 cm apart,... read more


Sedentary, some local altitudinal dispersal. Vagrant to S & C Florida, USA, where 14 records... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Readily inhabits man-made habitat. Generally common throughout much of its extensive range. On Andros (Bahamas), density of... read more

Recommended citation

Bündgen, R. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Cuban Emerald (Chlorostilbon ricordii). 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 24 January 2020).