Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Long-billed Starthroat (Heliomaster longirostris)


French: Colibri corinne German: Rosenkehlkolibri Spanish: Colibrí piquilargo

Trochilus longirostris

Audebert and Vieillot

, 1801,



Present species and H. constantii occasionally separated in genus Anthoscenus on basis of squarish tail, rounded rectrices and details of bill morphology; the distinguishing features, however, vary in a continuum between these species and H. furcifer, with H. squamosus occupying intermediate position, and treatment of all four as congeners now generally considered more appropriate. Several additional races described, notably veraguensis (Panama), chalcurus (Costa Rica), stuartae (Colombia) and caeruleiceps (Bolivia), but most have not been sustained and now included within nominate; masculinus (SC Mexico) considered a synonym of pallidiceps, but separation of latter from nominate has itself been questioned. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. l. pallidiceps Gould, 1861 – S Mexico (from Guerrero and S Veracruz) to Nicaragua.
  • H. l. longirostris (Audebert & Vieillot, 1801) – E & SW Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia S to E Peru and E Bolivia, E to the Guianas and E Amazonia; Trinidad.
  • H. l. albicrissa Gould, 1871 – W Ecuador to NW Peru (Cajamarca).
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; male 5·5–7·1 g, female 6·5 g. Male has long, straight, black bill; crown glittering blue to greenish blue, rest of upperparts... read more


    Calls include a rich liquid “tseep” or “tsew”, while chasing call involves squeaky twitters.


    In more humid areas than H. constantii; prefers forest canopy, especially at breaks or... read more

    Food and feeding

    Takes nectar from flowers of a variety of mostly large trees, being especially fond of those of Erythrina species with long,... read more


    Late wet to early dry seasons, Oct–Nov through Feb–Mar in S Mexico and Central America; Mar and Sept–Oct in N Colombia;... read more


    Poorly understood; in most areas presence seems to be erratic, the species disappearing for some... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Uncommon in most areas, but evidently able to tolerate much disturbance, and perhaps even favoured by deforestation, as... read more

    Recommended citation

    Stiles, F.G. & Boesman, P. (2020). Long-billed Starthroat (Heliomaster 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 24 February 2020).