Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Merida Sunangel (Heliangelus spencei)


French: Héliange du Mérida German: Mérida-Sonnennymphe Spanish: Colibrí de Mérida

Trochilus Spencei


, 1847,

Mérida, Venezuela


Very close to H. clarisse and H. amethysticollis. Male differs from male clarisse in silvery-white vs emerald-green frons (3); broader white breastband (2); much less iridescent green lower breastband (2); belly with more buff mottling (ns[1]); shorter bill (effect size on ten specimens each in NHMUK −2.93, score 2); male differs from male amethysticollis in silvery-white vs emerald-green frons (3), matt blackish vs moss-green crown and head sides (2), bright white vs dull buffy breastband (2). Monotypic.


Andes of Mérida, in NW Venezuela.

Descriptive notes

10–11 cm. Bill black and straight. Male shining green above with dark green crown, black ear-coverts and a narrow pale blue frontlet (can appear white in some lights); throat... read more


Call a repeated, high-pitched, cricket-like, short trill (pitch c. 6 kHz, length c. 0·25 seconds),... read more


Shrubby forest borders, bushy pastures and openings within forest, within the broad elevational... read more

Food and feeding

No known differences from H. clarisse.


Only known nest was in Jun. A downy cup atop small root exposed below overhang on steep road bank. Clutch two white eggs. No further... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species, endemic to the Mérida Andes of NW Venezuela. Global range estimated at just 5800 km², with an Area of... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Sharpe, C.J., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Merida Sunangel (Heliangelus spencei). 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 February 2020).