Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Violet-crowned Hummingbird (Amazilia violiceps)


French: Ariane à couronne violette German: Veilchenscheitelamazilie Spanish: Amazilia coronivioleta

Cyanomyia violiceps


, 1859,

Atlixco, Puebla, Mexico


Sometimes placed in genus Agyrtria. Closely related to A. viridifrons, with which formerly considered conspecific. Race ellioti fairly distinctive, with crown turquoise-bluish vs violet-blue and extending farther onto cheeks (2), and uppertail-coverts and tail dull greyish-green to greenish-brown vs burnished bronzy-copper (2); further research desirable. Species name sometimes given as verticalis, but this name refers to A. cyanocephala. Proposed race conjuncta, of Sonora, indistinguishable from ellioti. Described form Cyanomyia salvini, from Nacosari (Sonora), reported to be of hybrid origin (with Cynanthus latirostris), but is probably an aberrant individual of race ellioti. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. v. ellioti (Berlepsch, 1889) – Elliot's Hummingbird – extreme SW USA (SE Arizona, SW New Mexico) S to NW & C Mexico (to C Michoacán and Hidalgo).
  • A. v. violiceps (Gould, 1859) – Violet-crowned Hummingbird – SW Mexico (E Michoacán to Puebla and NW Oaxaca).
  • Descriptive notes

    10 cm; 5 g. Male has straight, medium-sized bill, fleshy red except dark tip; crown violet-blue; upperparts and flanks olive-green to bronze-green; uppertail-coverts bronze... read more


    Presumed song is a series of repeated single, squeaky, plaintive “skeee” notes. Also a more complex... read more


    Inhabits semi-open to open arid scrubland, thorn forests, open pine and pine–oak forests,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Forages for nectar mainly in middle to upper strata; recorded for example at Agave. Insects are caught in the air by hawking.


    Mainly Apr–Aug, but nesting and birds in breeding condition have been observed until Jan. Cup-like nest, consisting of plant material... read more


    Partially migratory. Northernmost populations probably winter along N Pacific slope from SE Sonora... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Common to uncommon resident throughout range. Race ellioti occurs very locally in SE Arizona and SW New Mexico, where confined to... read more

    Recommended citation

    Weller, A.A. & Boesman, P. (2020). Violet-crowned Hummingbird (Amazilia violiceps). 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 19 January 2020).