Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Long-billed Hermit (Phaethornis longirostris)


French: Ermite à longue queue German: Westlicher Langschwanz-Schattenkolibri Spanish: Ermitaño piquilargo
Other common names: Western Long-tailed Hermit

Ornismya longirostris


, 1843,



Often considered conspecific with P. superciliosus, but probably better treated as separate species. Usually treated as conspecific with P. griseoventer (e.g. by HBW), also, hitherto, with baroni, although possibility of their separation acknowledged. Proposed races veraecrucis (S Mexico) and cassinii (Panama and NW Colombia) are inseparable from longirostris and cephalus, respectively. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. l. longirostris (DeLattre, 1843) – S Mexico (N Oaxaca) to N Honduras.
  • P. l. cephalus (Bourcier & Mulsant, 1848) – E Honduras to NW Colombia (N Santander).
  • P. l. susurrus Bangs, 1901 – Santa Marta Mts, in N Colombia.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–16 cm; male 5–7·5 g, female 4–6·5 g. A medium-sized hermit with greenish-brown back and brownish or greyish underparts. Distinguishable... read more


    Song a continuous series of single, piercing, usually upslurred “sweeup” notes, at a rate of c. 1·5... read more


    Rainforest understorey, tall second growth, more humid areas in semi-deciduous, pine-oak and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar and small arthropods. Resource plants include several species of Heliconia (e.g. H. pogonantha), Costus... read more


    May–Jul, perhaps earlier and also later in E & SE Mexico; Apr–May in S Mexico, Jan–Sept, perhaps Nov in Costa Rica; May... read more


    No information on any large-scale movements. Presumably wanders short distances.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Small range of race sussurus indicate that it is potentially at risk. Race cephalus appears to be well... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hinkelmann, C., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Long-billed Hermit (Phaethornis longirostris). 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 10 December 2019).