Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Rainbow-bearded Thornbill (Chalcostigma herrani)


French: Métallure arc-en-ciel German: Weißspitzen-Glanzschwänzchen Spanish: Colibrí de Herrán

Trochilus Herrani

DeLattre and Bourcier

, 1846,

Pasto, Colombia


In the past was sometimes separated in a monospecific genus, Eupogonus. Form described as Zodalia glyceria is a hybrid between present species and Lesbia victoriae#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. h. tolimae O. Kleinschmidt, 1927 – Volcán Tolima, in C Andes of Colombia.
  • C. h. herrani (DeLattre & Bourcier, 1846) – W Andes of S Colombia (Munchique, in Cauca, S to Nariño) S on both slopes in Ecuador to N Peru (to Piura and NW Cajamarca).
  • Descriptive notes

    10–12 cm; male 6·4 g, female 5·5 g. Male has short, straight, black bill; upperparts and underparts bottle-green; rump and uppertail-coverts coppery red;... read more


    Main call is a short tinkling twitter followed by several more melodious squeaky (overslurred)... read more


    Usually below actual páramo; on well-drained rocky slopes with ferns, bromeliads... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds hovering on nectar from flowers of Brachyotum and Puya, often clinging to them while feeding. Gleans insects from... read more


    Two nests with eggs found Sept on Páramo del Tábano at 3000 m. Nestbuilding female observed mid-Jul at Mt Sangay, Ecuador, at... read more


    No information, but presumably sedentary; possibly makes seasonal altitudinal movements.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Common in W Colombia and in N Peru. Found in Podocarpus National Park and Las Cajas National Recreation Area, in S Ecuador; Cotopaxi... read more

    Recommended citation

    Heindl, M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Rainbow-bearded Thornbill (Chalcostigma herrani). 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).