Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Velvet-browed Brilliant (Heliodoxa xanthogonys)


French: Brillant à couronne verte German: Grüner Brillantkolibri Spanish: Brillante de tepuy

Heliodoxa xanthogonys

Salvin and Godman

, 1882,

Merumé Mountains, Guyana


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. x. xanthogonys Salvin & Godman, 1882 – highlands and tepuis of S & SE Venezuela, W Guyana and extreme N Brazil. Recorded also in Surinam#R.
  • H. x. willardi Weller & Renner, 2001 – tepuis of extreme S Venezuela (Serranía de la Neblina, Serra Imeri), around border with N Brazil (Roraima).
  • Descriptive notes

    10–11 cm; 5·5–7·5 g. Bill straight, blackish above, lower mandible orange with dark tip (c. 2 cm). Male has forehead and centre of crown glittering... read more


    A repeated nasal “squank”, also given in flight. Also high-pitched drawn-out reeling trills,... read more


    Forest, forest edges, clearings and scrub within the sub-montane zone of cerros and ... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar of various plants such as Tyleria and also vines (especially Ericaceae) and epiphytes, with birds either trap-lining or... read more


    Season apparently at least Jan–Mar based on specimens. Saddle-type nest; clutch two white eggs. No further information.


    Probably almost sedentary. As the species has not been recorded from the lowlands of S Venezuela,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Tepuis EBA. As an endemic of the Pantepui region, it can be regarded as an insular species with a... read more

    Recommended citation

    Weller, A.A., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Velvet-browed Brilliant (Heliodoxa xanthogonys). 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 29 February 2020).