Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Red-billed Streamertail (Trochilus polytmus)


French: Colibri à tête noire German: Rotschnabel-Jamaikasylphe Spanish: Colibrí portacintas piquirrojo
Other common names: Streamertail (when lumped with T. scitulus)

Trochilus Polytmus


, 1758,



Closely related to T. scitulus, with which formerly considered conspecific, but differs in display and voice; occasional hybridization in W John Crow Mts. Monotypic.


Jamaica (except extreme E).

Descriptive notes

Male 22–30 cm (including bill 2·3 cm, tail 13–17 cm), 5·2 g; female 10·5 cm, 4·4 g. Might only be confused with T. scitulus,... read more


Loud, repetitive “chink, chink”, “tsee, tsee” or “teet, teet”. Additionally, males emit distinctive... read more


Occurs from sea-level to elfin forest and found in all man-made habitats; forages mainly throughout... read more

Food and feeding

Forages for nectar at native and introduced flowers, including Hohenbergia, Bauhinia, Meriania, Tecoma... read more


Breeds year-round but chiefly Apr–Jun. Cup-shaped nest of fine plant fibres and cobweb (latter sometimes collected inside houses),... read more


Individuals disperse to higher altitudes after main breeding season.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Jamaica EBA. Common resident. Particularly common in Blue Mts, with densities of at least 12 pairs/km... read more

Recommended citation

Schuchmann, K.L. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Red-billed Streamertail (Trochilus polytmus). 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).