Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Sooty-capped Hermit (Phaethornis augusti)


French: Ermite d’Auguste German: Graubauch-Schattenkolibri Spanish: Ermitaño limpiacasa

Trochilus augusti


, 1847,

Caracas, Venezuela


Closely related to P. pretrei. Includes proposed taxon P. fumosus, based on a melanistic nominate bird. Colombian birds described as race vicarius inseparable from nominate. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. a. curiosus Wetmore, 1956 – Santa Marta Mts (N Colombia).
  • P. a. augusti (Bourcier, 1847) – Coastal Range and E Andes in Venezuela, S on E slope of E Andes in Colombia.
  • P. a. incanescens (Simon, 1921) – isolated tepuis of S Venezuela, W Guyana and N Brazil (Roraima).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 14–15 cm; male 4·5–6 g, female 4–5 g. Medium-sized hermit, very similar to P. pretrei, but with uniform grey underparts. Differs from... read more


    Song a continuously repeated phrase consisting of 2–3 high notes followed by 2–3 somewhat lower... read more


    Understorey of semi-deciduous and fairly dry to humid montane forest, dense vegetation in mainly... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar, taken by by trap-lining; small arthropods, sometimes sought in buildings.


    Active nests found Feb–Jul and Sept–Dec in N Venezuela, and a still-dependent juvenile observed in early Jan. Nest-site and... read more


    Probably mostly sedentary, but some seasonal vertical movement and straggling noted.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common to locally uncommon. Easy to see in coastal Cordillera of Venezuela and in Santa Marta Mts of Colombia, with density... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hinkelmann, C., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Sooty-capped Hermit (Phaethornis augusti). 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 7 April 2020).