Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)


Royal Sunangel (Heliangelus regalis)


French: Héliange royal German: Königssonnennymphe Spanish: Colibrí real

Heliangelus regalis

Fitzpatrick et al.

, 1979,

Cordillera del Cóndor, Peru


Distinguished from all other members of genus by its almost entirely dark blue plumage and its deeply forked tail; female resembles those of several congeners, notably H. mavors. Present species, however, is apparently not closely related to any congener. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. r. regalis Fitzpatrick et al., 1979 – extreme S Ecuador and N Peru (Cajamarca, Amazonas) on isolated Cordillera del Cóndor and E slope of Andes (San Martín, Loreto#R).
  • H. r. johnsoni G. R. Graves et al., 2011 – Andes of N Peru (Cordillera Azul)#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    10–12 cm; 3·4–4·5 g. Bill short (1·4 cm), straight, black. Male is entirely dark blue, slightly shining all over but with strongest... read more


    In aerial display, males describe wide circles or semi-circles (sometimes in figure-of-eight... read more


    Typically occurs in an unusual environment bordering several habitat types; it is most numerous in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Main food plant in Cordillera del Cóndor seems to be Brachyotum quinquenerve (Melastomataceae), a low shrub with dark red... read more


    Only a few records exist, but these suggest a season of Jul–Sept. Clutch two white eggs; incubation by female. The species having... read more


    No detailed studies have been carried out so far, but some seasonal vertical movements are most... read more

    Status and conservation

    ENDANGERED. CITES II. Formerly considered Vulnerable. Restricted-range species (distribution estimated at 2100 km²): present in Andean Ridge-top Forests EBA. Overall... read more

    Recommended citation

    Heynen, I., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Royal Sunangel (Heliangelus regalis). 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 28 February 2020).