Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Mexican Hermit (Phaethornis mexicanus)


French: Ermite de Hartert German: Mexikoschattenkolibri Spanish: Ermitaño mexicano
Other common names: Hartert's Hermit (mexicanus), Jalisco Hermit (griseoventer)

Phaëthornis mexicanus

E. J. O. Hartert

, 1897,

Dos Arroyos, near Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico


Often (including in HBW) considered conspecific with P. longirostris but tentatively split by some authors#R, differing from geographically closest populations of longirostris in its much larger size (effect size 8.08 for tail length although n=4) (3); bright rusty (vs whitish) base of whitish moustachial stripe and bright rusty (vs buffy-white) supercilium (3); duller, greyer underparts (much less of a whitish belly) and with mesial stripe stopping at bottom of throat, not vaguely spreading onto breast and mid-belly (2); moreover, recent evidence#R indicates distinct differences in song (at least 2). This split is strongly supported by recent genetic study#R. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. griseoventer A. R. Phillips, 1962 – W Mexico (Nayarit to Colima).
  • P. m. mexicanus E. J. O. Hartert, 1897 – SW Mexico (W Guerrero to SE Oaxaca).
  • Descriptive notes

    16–17 cm. A medium-sized hermit with greenish-brown back and brownish or greyish underparts, blackish ear-coverts bordered by pale cinnamon postocular stripe and moustachial... read more


    Song (P. m. griseoventer) a continuous series of single, metallic notes, at rate of c. 1·6... read more


    Humid evergreen forest and edge, Heliconia thickets and shady, semi-deciduous wooded... read more

    Food and feeding

    No known differences from P. longirostris.


    Very few data, but nest under construction, Oaxaca, mid May held two white eggs by end of month, with another nest with eggs in early Jul.


    None known.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Population size and trend difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the impacts of habitat modification, but overall range estimated at 91,... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Mexican Hermit (Phaethornis mexicanus). 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 26 February 2020).