Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Sapphire-vented Puffleg (Eriocnemis luciani)


French: Érione de Lucien German: Langschwanz-Höschenkolibri Spanish: Calzadito colilargo norteño

Trochilus luciani


, 1847,

Guaca, Ecuador


Often considered conspecific with E. sapphiropygia, and intermediate specimens exist, but morphological differences support treatment as separate species. Described form E. soderstromi is regarded by some authors as a hybrid of present species and E. nigrivestis, or a race or aberrant form of E. godini. Form E. isaacsonii, known only from three Bogotá trade skins which are not identical, may be a hybrid of Eriocnemis (of undetermined species) × Heliangelus. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. l. meridae Schuchmann et al., 2001 – Andes of W Venezuela (Paramo Conejos, in C Mérida); known only from the holotype#R, collected in 1898 (possibly extinct).
  • E. l. luciani (Bourcier, 1847) – Andes of SW Colombia (Nariño) and W Ecuador (S to Cotopaxi).
  • E. l. baptistae Schuchmann et al., 2001 – Andes of C Ecuador (Chimborazo S to Azuay).
  • Descriptive notes

    12·5–14 cm (including long tail); 5·4–6·4 g. Bill straight, black. Male has upperparts metallic grass-green with shining dark blue forecrown... read more


    Presumed song a repeated, single, metallic, trill, “tsirr”, at a rate of c. 1 note every 1–2... read more


    Prefers fairly open vegetation like edges and glades of wet montane forest and bushy and grassy... read more

    Food and feeding

    Territorial and pugnacious. Usually seen feeding on low-growing flowers at vegetation borders and on open grassy slopes. Often alights... read more


    Few records available but probably Feb–Mar. The cup-shaped nest consists mainly of moss, lichen and pieces of fern leaves held... read more


    Sedentary but vertical seasonal movements likely.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Locally very common, especially in the vicinity of Mt Pichincha; also occurs in several protected areas such as Pasochoa Forest Reserve and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Heynen, I., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Sapphire-vented Puffleg (Eriocnemis luciani). 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 10 December 2019).