Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Purple-throated Woodstar (Calliphlox mitchellii)


French: Colibri de Mitchell German: Purpurkehl-Sternkolibri Spanish: Colibrí de Mitchell

Trochilus Mitchellii


, 1847,

Zimapán, Ecuador


Often separated in genus Philodice, alone or with C. bryantae, sometimes also C. evelynae, and less commonly Tilmatura dupontii. Birds from Panama were initially misidentified as Chaetocercus heliodor. Monotypic.


E Panama (Darién) through W Colombia (both slopes of W Andes) to W Ecuador (S to El Oro and Loja).

Descriptive notes

6·8–7·5 cm; 3·0–3·3 g. Male has short, straight, black bill; upperparts dusky bronze-green, with white patch on either side of rump;... read more


Poorly known. Calls while feeding and hovering include a series of thin “chit” notes, often in... read more


Humid forest, forest borders from coast to cloudforest at 2400 m (Nariño, Colombia); in SW... read more

Food and feeding

Nectar of flowering trees, such as Cordia and Inga. Small insects are caught in the air by hawking. Male defends... read more


Dec–May in SW Colombia. Tiny cup-shaped nest of fine fibre and spider web is placed on thick branches in tall trees, often 8–12... read more


Altitudinal movements during breeding period in SW Colombia. Birds at higher elevations are engaged... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Uncommon to locally common. Seems to depend on native flowering trees, especially Inga, as major source of nectar... read more

Recommended citation

Schuchmann, K.L. & Boesman, P. (2020). Purple-throated Woodstar (Calliphlox mitchellii). 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 21 January 2020).