Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Violet-headed Hummingbird (Klais guimeti)


French: Colibri à tête violette German: Violettkopfkolibri Spanish: Colibrí cabeciazul

Trochilus Guimeti


, 1843,

Caracas, Venezuela


Nominate race and pallidiventris intergrade in SE Ecuador. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • K. g. merrittii (Lawrence, 1861) – E Honduras to E Panama.
  • K. g. guimeti (Bourcier, 1843) – Sierra de Perijá and mountains of N & W Venezuela S through E Andes of Colombia and Ecuador to extreme N Peru.
  • K. g. pallidiventris Stolzmann, 1926 – E slope of Andes from N Peru (Amazonas) S to C Bolivia (Cochabamba).
  • Descriptive notes

    7·5–8·5 cm; male 2·9 g, female 2·7–2·9 g. Bill of female averages slightly longer, but male has significantly longer wings and... read more


    Male gives repeated high-pitched song comprising just two notes, “pip seet”, sometimes from high... read more


    Canopy and edge of tall humid forest, tall second growth, tree plantations, shaded gardens and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Visits mostly small flowers of a variety of trees (Inga, Warscewiczia, Hamelia, Hampea, Vismia... read more


    Mainly during dry season, Jan–May in Costa Rica. During breeding season males typically in leks of up to ten but occasionally... read more


    Basically sedentary, but performs some local movements in response to changing flower availability. read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Common in many areas in Central America, such as La Selva Biological Station and Rara Avis reserve in Costa Rica; fairly common to uncommon... read more

    Recommended citation

    Stiles, F.G. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Violet-headed Hummingbird (Klais guimeti). 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 9 December 2019).