Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Sparkling Violet-ear (Colibri coruscans)


French: Colibri d’Anaïs German: Großer Veilchenohrkolibri Spanish: Colibrí rutilante

Trochilus (Petasophora) coruscans


, 1846,

South America


Proposed race rostratus (mountains of upper Orinoco Valley) doubtfully distinct from germanus; only differences appear to be longer bill and tail. Described form buckleyi, known only by type from Bolivia, appears to represent an aberrant plumage of present species, perhaps the poorly known melanistic form; reported second specimen from Ecuador may refer to some different form. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. coruscans (Gould, 1846) – Santa Marta Mts, Sierra de Perijá, mountains in NW Venezuela, and Andes S through Ecuador and Peru to Bolivia, N Chile and NW Argentina.
  • C. c. germanus (Salvin & Godman, 1884) – tepuis of S Venezuela, W Guyana and adjacent N Brazil (Roraima).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; male 5·8–8·5 g, female 6–7·5 g, unsexed 3·8–8·5 g. Male has slightly decurved black bill; upperparts... read more


    Very vocal. Song a long series of monosyllabic metallic chips, “djit...djit...djit...” or “tlik...... read more


    Forest edges, open woodland, flowering gardens, plantation, sub-páramo and p... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on nectar of a great variety of flowers like Castilleja, Centropogon, Clusia, Echeveria, ... read more


    Season Jul–Oct (Venezuela) and at least Dec–Feb (NW Argentina). Cup-shaped nest (up to c. 6 cm wide and up to 4·5 cm... read more


    During dry season populations in páramo habitats migrate to lower elevation; during... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common in various habitat types including man-made flowering gardens and plantations, and can be observed in gardens of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Züchner, T., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Sparkling Violet-ear (Colibri coruscans). 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 26 January 2020).