Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Giant Hummingbird (Patagona gigas)


French: Colibri géant German: Riesenkolibri Spanish: Colibrí gigante

Trochilus gigas


, 1824,

Brazil; error = Valparaíso, Chile


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. g. peruviana Boucard, 1893 – Andes of SW Colombia (Nariño) S to extreme N Chile (Tarapacá) and NW Argentina (S to N Catamarca and Tucumán).
  • P. g. gigas (Vieillot, 1824) – C & S Chile (Atacama to Concepción and Valdivia, occasionally S to Aisén) and adjacent CW Argentina (S to Mendoza); S populations winter N to NW Argentina (Catamarca, Tucumán). Recorded repeatedly in summer in Sierras Grandes de Córdoba, in C Argentina#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    20–22 cm; 18·5–20·2 g, some birds may be over 23 g. Unmistakable, the largest hummingbird; hovers with very slow wingbeats, flight almost swift-like... read more


    Song or chase call a mixture of squeaky piping whistles and trills, sounding somewhat passerine-... read more


    Favours arid, open habitats with low vegetation and few trees, usually not over 10 m in height.... read more

    Food and feeding

    In Ecuador and N Peru feeds mainly from Agave and Puya flowers; Agave was introduced to the area only in 16th... read more


    Mainly Dec–Mar (Ecuador), Sept–Mar (Peru) or Oct–Jan (Chile) and Feb (NW Argentina). Chilean populations sometimes have... read more


    Populations of nominate race breeding in Chile and CW Argentina in spring and summer migrate across... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Throughout its extensive range species is generally not uncommon. Does not seem to be restricted to threatened habitat... read more

    Recommended citation

    Heynen, I., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Giant Hummingbird (Patagona gigas). 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 7 December 2019).