Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Wedge-tailed Sabrewing (Campylopterus curvipennis)


French: Campyloptère pampa German: Blaukron-Degenflügel Spanish: Colibrí ruiseñor
Other common names: Curve-winged Sabrewing, Long-tailed Sabrewing, Tuxtla Sabrewing (excellens)

Trochilus curvipennis

W. Deppe#R

, 1830,



In the past sometimes separated in genus Pampa. Race excellens considered by some to be a full species (sometimes tentatively#R), but differences not striking, involving slightly larger size, paler underparts and longer tail; molecular, morphological and vocal analysis#R supports monophyly of the three subspecies, although this evidence plus the findings of larger skull size#R may lend support to acceptance of excellens as a full species#R; none of the differences, however, appears particularly strong or compelling (e.g. much vocal overlap and variability), so all three taxa retained here as conspecific, but research required in zone of hypothetical contact between excellens and nominate. Subpopulation of Yucatán Peninsula sometimes regarded as race yucatanensis, but doubtfully distinct. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. curvipennis (W. Deppe, 1830) – Curve-winged Sabrewing – E & S Mexico from SE San Luis Potosí and SW Tamaulipas S to N Oaxaca.
  • C. c. excellens (Wetmore, 1941) – Long-tailed Sabrewing – Sierra de los Tuxtlas (SE Veracruz to N Chiapas), in SE Mexico.
  • C. c. pampa (Lesson, 1832) – Wedge-tailed Sabrewing – Yucatán Peninsula S to N Guatemala and Belize; E Honduras.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–14 cm; male 9·2–12·7 g, female 5·9–8 g. Male has slightly decurved black bill; crown iridescent bluish-violet to purplish, rest of... read more


    A remarkable singer. Song a loud, varied warble, typically starting with a hesitant, nasal, reedy,... read more


    Edges of humid to semi-arid evergreen forest, second growth open woodlands, and flowering gardens... read more

    Food and feeding

    Takes nectar and arthropods. No information on specific plants visited. Territorial.


    Little information available. Males in breeding condition have been reported Sept–May (excellens).


    Sedentary with some apparent altitudinal movements.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Locally common; seems to accept man-made habitats like edges of flowering gardens; not recorded near agricultural areas. Present at G... read more

    Recommended citation

    Züchner, T. & Boesman, P. (2020). Wedge-tailed Sabrewing (Campylopterus curvipennis). 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 23 February 2020).