Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Loja Hummingbird (Amazilia alticola)

Following the taxonomy applied to HBW Alive, derived from the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, this taxon is now lumped within Amazilia Hummingbird (Amazilia amazilia).


French: Ariane alticole German: Lojaamazilie Spanish: Amazilia de Loja

Amazilia alticola


, 1860,

Puna district, Peru; error = Loja, Ecuador


Forms a superspecies with A. amazilia and probably A. castaneiventris#R, of which formerly considered a race; differs in coloration, size (larger, except in tail length)#R, song repertoire and habitat requirements, and probably parapatric with A. amazilia dumerilii in Casanga Valley (C Loja), where no interbreeding yet observed. Morphological characters also suggest a reasonably close relationship with A. tzacatl#R. Some authorities maintain alticola as a subspecies of amazilia, but have recognized sufficient geographical variation within alticola to name another subspecies azuay (in R Jubones drainage in Azuay and immediately adjacent Loja), which should be regarded as conspecific with alticola, if the latter is split from amazilia, although the authors of azuay postulated that their new taxon might prove to be specifically distinct, while alticola would remain a subspecies of amazilia#R. Monotypic.


Andes of S Ecuador; doubtfully N Peru (the only evidence of its occurrence there being the type specimen, which is “said to be [from] the Puna district of Peru”)#R, although the type does appear to show some morphological characters suggestive of it being from the S end of the taxon’s range#R.

Descriptive notes

10–11 cm; male 6·5 g, female 5·5 g; male larger in most measurements. Male has straight, medium-sized bill, fleshy red with dark tip; upperparts golden... read more


Large repertoire (in both alticola and newly described azuay), with few... read more


Inhabits edges of cloudforest, clearings, semi-open to open scrub, and bushy savanna of the sub-... read more

Food and feeding

Poorly known. Forages for nectar at flower corollas of medium length, where occasionally territorial. Feeds on small arthropods in the air... read more


Nov–Mar. Nest is an open cup, saddled on horizontal branch to which it is fixed with cobweb; made of plant down and decorated on the... read more


Unknown in detail; probably sedentary. May occur at lower altitudes after reproduction.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Southern Central Andes EBA. Common to locally common in suitable habitats; however, probably... read more

Recommended citation

Weller, A.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Loja Hummingbird (Amazilia alticola). 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 May 2019).