Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Critically Endangered

Juan Fernandez Firecrown (Sephanoides fernandensis)


French: Colibri robinson German: Juan-Fernandez-Kolibri Spanish: Colibrí de Juan Fernández

Trochilus Fernandensis

P. P. King

, 1831,

Juan Fernández Islands


Sister-species relationship with S. sephaniodes supported by recent DNA studies; in the past, phylogenetic affinities with other hummingbird species have been much disputed. In mid-19th century, pronounced sexual dimorphism resulted in sexes being classified as two different species within same genus, until observations of mating and of the two morphotypes sharing nest revealed their true identities. Position of proposed form †leyboldi is a mystery; originally considered a separate species, supposedly from Alejandro Selkirk I (Juan Fernández Is), but there is no evidence that this species ever occurred on Alejandro Selkirk#R. Treated as monotypic.


Robinson Crusoe I, in Juan Fernández Is (off WC Chile).

Descriptive notes

Male 11·5–12 cm, 10·9 g; female c. 10·5 cm, 6·8 g. Male has straight black bill; forehead and crown iridescent fiery reddish yellow;... read more


Song is a medley of high-pitched squeaky notes, dry gravelly trills and descending chatters.


Forest, including plantations, thickets and gardens, prefers shady and sheltered areas, being most... read more

Food and feeding

Takes nectar from a variety of sources, by clinging to flower, preferring the endemic Dendroseris littoralis and Rhaphithamnus... read more


Until recently there were only a few nest records and virtually no data on breeding were available. Season Sept to mid-mid Nov. Nests are... read more


Sedentary, although individuals have been recorded moving all over Robinson CrusoeI, presumably in... read more

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Juan Fernández Islands EBA. Situation critical; population estimated at 1700–2000 mature... read more

Recommended citation

Roy, M.S., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Juan Fernandez Firecrown (Sephanoides fernandensis). 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 27 January 2020).