Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Green-backed Firecrown (Sephanoides sephaniodes)


French: Colibri du Chili German: Chilekolibri Spanish: Colibrí austral

Orthorhynchus [sic] sephaniodes

Lesson and Garnot

, 1827,

Bahía de Concepción, Talcahuano, Chile


Some recent authors have erroneously transferred spelling of generic name to species name, thus referring to “Sephanoides sephanoides”. In the past, alternatively listed as S. galeritus, although historical justification for this doubtful since that name cannot be identified as referring to present species. Sister-species relationship with S. fernandensis supported by recent DNA studies. Monotypic.


Chile (S of Atacama) and adjacent W Argentina (Neuquén S to Santa Cruz) S to Tierra del Fuego; Juan Fernández Is. S populations winter N into EC Argentina.

Descriptive notes

10–10·5 cm; male 5·5 g, female 5 g. Male has straight black bill; forehead and crown with distinctive iridescent fiery red-yellow; upperparts bronzy-green... read more


Song typically a series of high-pitched notes interspersed by gravelly trills and squeaky notes, “... read more


Forest edges, glades, thickets and gardens. Can be found in large numbers among flowering trees,... read more

Food and feeding

Takes nectar from a variety of sources; most favoured are Abutilon, Embothrium and Fuchsia. On Juan Ferná... read more


Season (Sept) Oct–Nov. On Juan Fernández Is few nests have been found but data suggest breeding Sept–Dec. Nests very... read more


Migratory in southern region of the mainland, wintering in lowlands of Argentina, including as far... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatend (Least Concern). CITES II. Locally common; does well in disturbed habitats, occurring regularly in city parks, e.g. Santiago. No immediate threat,... read more

Recommended citation

Roy, M.S., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Green-backed Firecrown (Sephanoides sephaniodes). 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 25 February 2020).