Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Garden Emerald (Chlorostilbon assimilis)


French: Émeraude du Panama German: Gartensmaragdkolibri Spanish: Esmeralda afín
Other common names: Allied Emerald

Chlorostilbon assimilis


, 1861,

Isthmus of Panama


Formerly treated as one of many races of C. mellisugus (which see); an alternative was, on basis of bill colour, to split the complex into four species, of which present species was one, although this arrangement has at times been varied with the lumping of present species within the mellisugus group. 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 is specifically distinct from closest N member of the C. mellisugus complex, race salvini of C. canivetii, on account of much shorter, less forked tail (2); all-black (no red) bill (3); duller crown (2); and narrow zone of hybridization (2). It differs from melanorhynchus in Colombia in (scored from published data#R) plain vs highly iridescent crown (3); less grey in outer rectrices of female (1); much longer bill (2); shorter wing (1); longer tail (ns[1]); heavier weight (ns). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

SW Costa Rica (Térraba Valley and Dota Mts) and arid Pacific coast of Panama (including Coiba I and Pearl Is).

Descriptive notes

7·8–8·5 cm; c. 3–4·1 g. Adult male dark metallic green above with very narrow line of paler glistening feathers on lores and adjacent to base of bill, bluish-green tail-... read more


No information, although perhaps not very different from C. canivetii.


Inhabits wooded borders, hedgerows around open fields, thickets along streams, scrubby areas and... read more

Food and feeding

Flower feeder, visiting shrubs and trees like guayabo (Psidium guajava), but also those of many smaller plants, e.g. Combretum... read more


Little known, but in Panama, a female in Jan was ready to lay, with nests reported in Nov and Jan, and birds in breeding condition reported... read more


Has been reported moving between mainland Panama and the Pearl Is, but no other information. The... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Readily accepts man-made habitat. Has been suggested that range has expanded in W Panama in response to forest clearance.... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Garden Emerald (Chlorostilbon assimilis). 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 17 January 2020).