Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Snowy-bellied Hummingbird (Amazilia edward)


French: Ariane d’Edward German: Edwardamazilie Spanish: Amazilia de Edward
Other common names: Snowy-breasted Hummingbird, Edward's Hummingbird (edward)

Trochilus Edward

DeLattre and Bourcier

, 1846,

Isthmus of Panama


Sometimes placed in genus Saucerottia. Race niveoventer has been considered a distinct species, on basis mainly of purplish-black vs coppery tail coloration (score 3) and, in this character, lack of intergradation with other races owing to strictly allopatric distribution; but only other character appears to be somewhat greener, less coppery back (possibly 1), so strong acoustic differentiation probably needed to justify species status. Individuals with characters intermediate between nominate edward and race margaritarum have been reported from contact zone in E Panama. Two questionable races were described from mainland of Panama: form crosbyi (of Darién, in E Panama) was separated by tail coloration from race margaritarum, but is indistinguishable from it, as the characters of most individuals of the type series can be accounted for by juvenile plumage; ludibunda, described from a single specimen from Pesé (in Azuero Peninsula, C Panama), was collected within E range of niveoventer and represents an aberrant example of this race. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. e. niveoventer (Gould, 1851) – Northern Snowy-bellied Hummingbird – SW Costa Rica to W & C Panama, including Coiba I.
  • A. e. edward (DeLattre & Bourcier, 1846) – Southern Snowy-bellied Hummingbird – Panama from Canal Zone E to W Darién; single record (presumed vagrant) in Chocó (NW Colombia)#R.
  • A. e. collata Wetmore, 1952 – C Panama.
  • A. e. margaritarum (Griscom, 1927) – N Gulf of Panama (Pearl Is, and islands of Taboga, Taboguilla and Urabá) and E Panama (SW Darién).
  • Doubtfully recorded in Ecuador (Santo Domingo), perhaps race margaritarum.

    Descriptive notes

    8–11 cm; male 5–5·4 g, female 4·3–5·2 g. Blackish, straight bill, with reddish base to lower mandible. Male has upperparts bronze-green... read more


    Song is a soft “bebeebee, d’beebee” or “tseer tir tir”, while calls include a light “tip” or “tsip”. read more


    Varies with distribution; in Costa Rica and W Panama prefers semi-open habitats and savannas with... read more

    Food and feeding

    Forages and perches at varying heights, mainly between 3 and 6 m. Usually solitary, but may gather in numbers at flowering trees. Food... read more


    For western populations, breeding has been recorded between late Sept and Jan, with peak Dec–Jan during onset of dry season. Nest is... read more


    Western populations at least show local movements. Probably remains in more arid areas during wet... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. One of the commonest trochilids in the Canal Zone of Panama; locally common in SW Costa Rica and W Panama in the upper... read more

    Recommended citation

    Weller, A.A. (2019). Snowy-bellied Hummingbird (Amazilia edward). 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 15 December 2019).