Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Oasis Hummingbird (Rhodopis vesper)


French: Colibri vesper German: Atacamakolibri Spanish: Colibrí del Atacama

Ornismya vesper


, 1829,

probably near Tarapacá, Chile (but possibly western Peru)


Closely related to Heliomaster, and sometimes included within that somewhat varied genus. Infraspecific variation very slight, and in need of revision; proposed race tertia (N Peru) tentatively included in nominate, although morphometrically inseparable from atacamensis; species may be better considered monotypic. Three subspecies provisionally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. v. koepckeae Berlioz, 1975 – NW Peru (Cerro Illescas, in SW Piura).
  • R. v. vesper (Lesson, 1829) – most of W Peru (S from Lambayeque) and extreme N Chile (Tarapacá).
  • R. v. atacamensis (Leybold, 1869) – N Chile (Atacama); probably this subspecies also farther south (Coquimbo).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–13·5 cm; 3·6–4·2 g. Male has medium-sized curved bill, black; upper­parts shining olive-green, rufous on rump and uppertail-coverts;... read more


    Song from territorial perch a quiet liquid chattering, including a series of short syllables... read more


    Arid steppes, oases, gardens, lowlands and mountains up to 3000 m. Most abundant on coastal hills... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar of flowering shrubs, cacti and trees, Malvaceae and Leguminosaceae in particular; in N Chile, observed feeding at flowers of ... read more


    Season originally believed to be Sept–Nov, but potentially nests virtually year-round in N Chile; small cup-shaped nest is suspended... read more


    Mostly sedentary; local altitudinal movements have been reported for atacamensis.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Common in all arid zones. Readily occupies man-made habitats. Occurs in Paracas National Park (Peru). Trapping rate for wild bird trade was... read more

    Recommended citation

    Schuchmann, K.L., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Oasis Hummingbird (Rhodopis vesper). 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 9 April 2020).