Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

White-bearded Helmetcrest (Oxypogon lindenii)


French: Colibri de Linden German: Weißbart-Helmkolibri Spanish: Colibrí chivito de Mérida

Ornysmia [sic] Lindenii


, 1845,

State of Mérida, Venezuela


Hitherto considered one of four subspecies in O. guerinii, although HBW noted possible treatment as four separate species. Uniquely possesses all-white beard, apart from a few tiny green droplet-shaped spots on chin and throat (3); blackish crown sides (ns[1]); darkish brown underparts with relatively little pale scaling (1); no white in tail except white shaft streaks on all but central pair (3); longer crest than other taxa (effect size vs cyanolaemus 4.23, vs guerinii 3.086; score 2); and longer wings than other taxa (effect size vs next longest cyanolaemus 1.39; score 1)#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Andes of NW Venezuela (Mérida, Trujillo).

Descriptive notes

c. 11·5 cm; 4·8 g. Very short bill (c. 1·3 cm). Male has bronzy-green upperparts lightly scaled grey, with long, pointed and sometimes slightly bifurcated black crest, shaggy... read more


Song a repeated, high-pitched, slightly buzzy, single note “tzee” or “peek” (pitch c. 5 kHz, note... read more


Humid open páramo with Espeletia vegetation, sometimes at edge of ... read more

Food and feeding

Often seen at flowers of Espeletia schultzii, even on dry old ones which are full of insect larvae; other nectar sources are ... read more


Season closely related to flowering season of Espeletia; usually Jun/Jul–Oct/Nov (Venezuela). Nest large, constructed of fibres... read more


Present year-round in páramo, but large part of population in Venezuela seems to migrate... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Restricted-range species: endemic to the Mérida Andes of Venezuela and present in Cordillera de Mérida EBA. Very common.... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Sharpe, C.J., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). White-bearded Helmetcrest (Oxypogon lindenii). 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 25 February 2020).