Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Green-tailed Trainbearer (Lesbia nuna)


French: Porte-traîne nouna German: Grünschwanzsylphe Spanish: Colibrí colilargo menor

Ornismya nuna


, 1832,



Differences in display and behaviour do not suggest particularly close relationship with L. victoriae; may be closest to Ramphomicron. N races (all except nominate and boliviana) have been proposed as a separate species#R, based mainly on differences in tail coloration and size, but these differences appear to be weak and clinal#R. Race boliviana sometimes treated as synonym of nominate. Proposed race eucharis (from mountains near Huánuco, in C Peru; formerly thought to have come from Colombia) provisionally placed in L. victoriae but then moved to present species; now thought to be a hybrid between the two, as is chlorura (C Peru)#R. Seven subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. n. gouldii (Loddiges, 1832) – E Andes of NE Colombia (Boyacá and Cundinamarca) and C Andes of S Colombia (S Cauca, Nariño); old record from Venezuela (Mérida) has recently been questioned#R.
  • L. n. gracilis (Gould, 1846) – Andes of N & C Ecuador.
  • L. n. aureliae Weller & Schuchmann, 2004 – Andes of S Ecuador (Azuay to Loja).
  • L. n. pallidiventris (Simon, 1902) – Andes of N & C Peru (E Piura to W Huánuco).
  • L. n. huallagae Weller & Schuchmann, 2004 – Andes of C Peru (Huallaga Valley in C Huánuco).
  • L. n. nuna (Lesson, 1832) – Andes of S Peru (Junín to Cuzco).
  • L. n. boliviana Boucard, 1892 – E slope of Andes in NW Bolivia (La Paz to Cochabamba).
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 15·3–17 cm (including tail of c. 10·6–13·6 cm), female c. 11·6 cm (including tail of c. 4·5–6·2 cm); 3... read more


    Presumed song is a repeated gravelly note “drrrt...drrrt...” and similar variations. Calls include... read more


    Second growth, bushy slopes, sometimes in Polylepis woodlands and páramo... read more

    Food and feeding

    Forages for nectar of flowering Castilleja fissifolia, Cavendishia cordi­folia, Rubus, Cuphaea dipetala... read more


    Nov–Apr. Cup-shaped nest is built of moss and rootlets, lined with soft plant material; placed underneath overhangs on slopes 2... read more


    Some seasonal altitudinal movements most likely following breeding and flowering season.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Locally fairly common. No immediate threats identitfied; however, parts of habitat are endangered by deforestation of ... read more

    Recommended citation

    Züchner, T., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Green-tailed Trainbearer (Lesbia nuna). 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).