Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Gorgeted Woodstar (Chaetocercus heliodor)


French: Colibri d’Héliodore German: Prachtkehlelfe Spanish: Colibrí de Heliodoro

Ornismya heliodor


, 1840,

Bogotá, Colombia


Frequently placed in genus Acestrura along with C. mulsant, C. bombus, C. astreans and C. berlepschi, but no evidence in external morphology justifies treatment in a genus separate from C. jourdanii. Thought to be closest to C. astreans. Described form Calothorax decoratus is probably a hybrid between present species and Chaetocercus mulsant. Proposed race meridae (Venezuela) invalid. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. h. heliodor (Bourcier, 1840) – Andes of Venezuela (Mérida), Colombia and W Ecuador.
  • C. h. cleavesi R. T. Moore, 1934 – Andes of NE Ecuador (W Sucumbíos to NW Morona-Santiago).
  • Descriptive notes

    5·8–6·4 cm. Male has straight black bill; plumage generally dark metallic blue-green; gorget pinkish-purple, elongated to form auricular tufts, breast... read more


    Calls while feeding and hovering include a single dry “chit”, doubled “chichit” or tripled “... read more


    Edges of humid forest, coffee plantations and other disturbed areas with some trees and shrubs, at... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on nectar of flowering Inga trees, coffee and other tiny flowers. Insects are caught in the air by hawking. Forages from... read more


    Nests in Apr–Oct (Mérida), fledglings in Oct (Ecuador). Nest cup-shaped, built of soft downy plant material like bromeliad... read more


    Some seasonal altitudinal movements likely.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Relative abundance varies from rare to locally common. The paucity of records of this species may be in part due to its small size and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Züchner, T. & Boesman, P. (2020). Gorgeted Woodstar (Chaetocercus heliodor). 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 22 January 2020).