Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Tawny-bellied Hermit (Phaethornis syrmatophorus)


French: Ermite à ventre fauve German: Orangebauch-Schattenkolibri Spanish: Ermitaño ventrihabano

Phæthornis syrmatophora


, 1852,

western Ecuador


Closest to P. koepckeae and P. philippii. Races well distinguished and may represent different species. Description of proposed race berlepschi was based on an immature bird of nominate race; huallagae (from N Peru) is inseparable from columbianus. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. syrmatophorus Gould, 1852 – Western Tawny-bellied Hermit – W Andes of Colombia (including Cauca/Patía Valley) locally to SW Ecuador (S to W Loja).
  • P. s. columbianus Boucard, 1891 – Eastern Tawny-bellied Hermit – C & E Andes of Colombia (including S Magdalena Valley) S on E slope in Ecuador to N Peru (San Martín).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 14 cm; 5–7 g. A medium-sized hermit with a prominent, long, distinctly decurved bill, olive-green upperparts and reddish-orange uppertail-coverts; belly, undertail-... read more


    Song a continuous series of single, high-pitched, almost insect-like “tsi” calls, at a rate of... read more


    Understorey of humid montane forest, sometimes at forest edge or in dense second growth. Generally... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar and small arthropods. Feeds by trap-lining.


    Recorded Jun in Ecuador; gonadal activity Dec in Peru; birds in breeding condition Mar–Aug and Dec in Colombia. Elongated, cone-... read more


    No information available. Presumably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Habitat loss may be a severe threat in the future. Regularly recorded in Cueva de los Guácharos National Park, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hinkelmann, C. & Boesman, P. (2020). Tawny-bellied Hermit (Phaethornis syrmatophorus). 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 3 April 2020).