Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Straight-billed Hermit (Phaethornis bourcieri)


French: Ermite de Bourcier German: Braunbauch-Schattenkolibri Spanish: Ermitaño piquirrecto

Trochilus Bourcieri


, 1832,



In the past was sometimes placed in genus Ametrornis. Morphological characters argue against close relationship to other hermits with straight bill, P. philippii and P. koepckeae. Many authors have accepted additional race whitelyi for N birds, but claimed characters correspond to individual variation, both types of coloration occurring throughout range of nominate race. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. b. bourcieri (Lesson, 1832) – SE Colombia, E Ecuador and NE Peru E to S Venezuela, the Guianas and Brazil N & S of Amazon, including presumably much of Amazonas and Acre states#R.
  • P. b. major Hinkelmann, 1989 – EC Brazil S of Amazon (E bank of lower R Tapajós).
  • Descriptive notes

    12–14 cm; 3·5–5 g. Medium-sized hermit with olive-green upperparts and brownish (“whitelyi coloration”) to greyish (“... read more


    Song quite different compared to most large Phaethornis: a high-pitched phrase repeated... read more


    Understorey of lowland terra firme rainforest, and dense areas of adjacent semi-deciduous... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar and small arthropods. Recorded at flowers of Manettia, Guzmania and Vriesea; feeds by trap-lining.


    Mar–May in Brazil; active nests Sept in Manaus and Amapá, Brazil, Oct in French Guiana, Sept in Colombia; gonadal activity... read more


    No information available.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common throughout its range, which has recently been demonstrated to extend well S of the Amazon to Acre. Regularly seen in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hinkelmann, C., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Straight-billed Hermit (Phaethornis bourcieri). 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 20 February 2020).