Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Green-crowned Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula)


French: Brillant fer-de-lance German: Grünstirn-Brillantkolibri Spanish: Brillante coroniverde
Other common names: Green-fronted Brilliant

Heliodoxa jacula


, 1850,

Santa Fé de Bogotá, Colombia


Race name jamersoni often spelt jamesoni, on grounds that a typographical error had been made in original description, but no evidence for this and emendation not permissible; spelling as given below is correct. One specimen of uncertain origin has been identified as a hybrid between jamersoni and H. imperatrix#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. j. henryi Lawrence, 1866 – mountains in Costa Rica and W Panama (E to W Coclé).
  • H. j. jacula Gould, 1850 – E Panama to N & C Colombia (locally in all three ranges).
  • H. j. jamersoni (Bourcier, 1851) – SW Colombia S to W Ecuador (S to El Oro).
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 12–13 cm, 7–9·5 g; female 10·5–12 cm, 6–8 g; race henryi, male 9·4 g, female 8·2 g. Male has forehead, crown... read more


    A repeated squeaky “kyew” or “tyew”, sometimes given singly. Also a repeated rhythmic “kyee-tew-tew... read more


    Wet subtropical and cloudforest, forest edge, adjacent semi-open and old second growth in mountains... read more

    Food and feeding

    Regularly takes nectar from pipe-shaped bracts of candelabra-like inflorescences of Marcgravia; also feeds at other epiphytes (... read more


    Season Jul or Aug–Jan (Costa Rica); May–Sept (N & EC Colombia). Nest undescribed.


    In Costa Rica, most of population moves to lower elevations (locally down to 100 m) outside... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common, at least locally, in Costa Rica and Panama (henryi), with various protected areas in range, e.g. Tapant... read more

    Recommended citation

    Stiles, F.G. & Boesman, P. (2020). Green-crowned Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula). 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 April 2020).