Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Violet Sabrewing (Campylopterus hemileucurus)


French: Campyloptère violet German: Violettdegenflügel Spanish: Colibrí morado

Trochilus hemileucurus

W. Deppe#R

, 1830,



Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. h. hemileucurus (W. Deppe, 1830) – S Mexico (Guerrero, S Veracruz) patchily S to NC Nicaragua.
  • C. h. mellitus Bangs, 1902 – Costa Rica to WC Panama (Veraguas to W Azuero Peninsula).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–15 cm; male 11·8 g, female 9·5 g. Bill black, more strongly decurved in female. In adult male shafts of outer two primaries strongly thickened, curved... read more


    Song a long series of evenly spaced high-pitched notes, usually alternating over two different... read more


    Understorey and edges of humid forest in foothills and on mountain slopes, old second growth,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Visits flowers mainly in understorey, especially Heliconia, also those of shrubs like Cephaelis, Palicourea (... read more


    Mainly in rainy season, Jun–Sept (S Mexico), May–Oct (Costa Rica), Jul (El Salvador). Nest a bulky, well-constructed cup,... read more


    Pronounced altitudinal movements in many areas, descending to lower elevations (locally to sea-... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Common in many areas, and able to withstand much disturbance as long as some forest cover or tall second growth remains; can use remnant... read more

    Recommended citation

    Stiles, F.G. & Boesman, P. (2020). Violet Sabrewing (Campylopterus hemileucurus). 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 30 March 2020).