Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Little Sunangel (Heliangelus micraster)


French: Héliange menu German: Goldkehl-Sonnennymphe Spanish: Colibrí lucero
Other common names: Flame-throated Sunangel

Heliangelus micraster


, 1872,

San Lucas, Ecuador


Closely related to H. exortis and often regarded as conspecific, but differs in (in male) short matt black chin patch vs longer glittering royal blue chin patch (2) and glittering flame-gold vs glittering pink gorget (3), (in male; possibly both sexes) less glossy, slightly paler green upperparts (1), and (both sexes) shorter tail (at least 1). Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. m. micraster Gould, 1872 – E Andean slope of SE Ecuador (S from Morona-Santiago) and adjacent N Peru.
  • H. m. cutervensis (Simon, 1921) – NW Peru (Cajamarca).
  • Descriptive notes

    10–11 cm; 3·6–4·1 g. Bill straight, blackish. Male upperparts dark metallic green with a glittering blue-green frontlet; dark metallic green below... read more


    Call a repeated dry “djit” or more gravelly “drrt”.


    Dense mossy forest and forest borders; female frequently visits bushy pastures. Occurs in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Territorial; mainly forages low at forest borders or in open or shrubby areas. Inside the forest also keeps to lower and medium heights;... read more


    Jan–May in Ecuador. Clutch size 2; incubation by female. No further information available.


    Sedentary; altitudinal dispersal after reproduction.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Status not well known. Generally uncommon, though can be locally common, for instance in Loja (S Ecuador).

    Recommended citation

    Heynen, I. & Boesman, P. (2020). Little Sunangel (Heliangelus micraster). 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 19 February 2020).