Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Ecuadorian Hillstar (Oreotrochilus chimborazo)


French: Colibri du Chimborazo German: Ecuador-Andenkolibri Spanish: Colibrí del Chimborazo

Trochilus Chimborazo

DeLattre and Bourcier

, 1846,

Mount Chimborazo, Ecuador


Thought to be closely related to O. estella, O. stolzmanni and O. leucopleurus; all four have been considered conspecific; separated largely on morphological grounds. Race soderstromi sometimes thought to be an intergrade of jamesonii and nominate, but is apparently isolated geographically from both of them; nonetheless, it indicates clinality in the species, and reduces distinctiveness of jamesonii, with its lack of green throat patch (score reduced by soderstromi to 2) and less white in outer tail (1). Three subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. c. jamesonii Jardine, 1849 – Violet-hooded Hillstar – mountains of extreme S Colombia (Nariño) and N Ecuador (Cotacachi, Pichincha, Illiniza, Antisana and Cotopaxi, S to Azuay).
  • O. c. soderstromi Lönnberg & Rendahl, 1922 – C Ecuador (Mt Quilotoa, in C Cotopaxi).
  • O. c. chimborazo (DeLattre & Bourcier, 1846) – Chimborazo Hillstar – C Ecuador (Mt Chimborazo).
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm; 7·8–8·1 g. Bill black, slightly curved. Male upperparts dark olive-green; entire head and upper throat covered by a glittering purplish-blue hood,... read more


    Calls include a repeated short “tsit” and a strident “tseek”. Also a fast melodious twittering with... read more


    Inhabits highest vegetated zones up to snow-line at elevations of 3500–5200 m. This high-... read more

    Food and feeding

    Territorial and notably aggressive. Often perches conspicuously on top of a shrub for long periods, but uses lower and more protected... read more


    Mainly Oct–Feb (jamesonii), but nests found throughout the year. The nest consists of moss, roots, dry grass, feathers,... read more


    Some altitudinal movements have been observed, possibly as an adaptation to the harsh highland... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Fairly common; typical habitat is not subject to a high level of degradation, and species also accepts man-made environments. Occurs in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Heynen, I. & Boesman, P. (2020). Ecuadorian Hillstar (Oreotrochilus chimborazo). 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 3 April 2020).