Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

White-chinned Sapphire (Hylocharis cyanus)


French: Saphir azuré German: Weißkinn-Saphirkolibri Spanish: Zafiro gorjiblanco

Trochilus cyanus


, 1818,

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Species name has alternatively been given as cyana or cyanea, but original name (a Greek noun) is not variable. Proposed form H. pyropygia is probably a hybrid of present species and Chlorostilbon lucidus pucherani; Chlorostilbon hypocyaneus, known only from two trade skins from E Brazil (Bahia), may be a hybrid of present species with Chlorostilbon notatus, or a mutant of latter species, or possibly even a valid species. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. c. viridiventris Berlepsch, 1880 – N & E Colombia, W, S & E Venezuela and the Guianas to N Brazil (S to Mato Grosso, E to Maranhão).
  • H. c. rostrata Boucard, 1895 – E Peru, N Bolivia and W Brazil S of R Amazon (E to R Madeira); probably E Ecuador.
  • H. c. conversa J. T. Zimmer, 1950 – E Bolivia.
  • H. c. cyanus (Vieillot, 1818) – coastal E Brazil from Pernambuco S to Rio de Janeiro.
  • H. c. griseiventris Grantsau, 1988 – SE Brazil (coastal São Paulo; N Paraná). Old record from NE Argentina (Buenos Aires).
  • Descriptive notes

    8–9 cm; 2·8–3·5 g. Male has bill straight, medium-sized, coral red except for dark tip, or with darker upper mandible; forehead, crown, cheeks,... read more


    Like Amazilia sapphirina, male sings from solitary perch, usually a high, rather open,... read more


    Inhabits edges of tropical lowland evergreen forests, gallery forests, riparian woodland, clearings... read more

    Food and feeding

    Forages for nectar of various plant species, including Verbenaceae, Loranthaceae, Malvaceae, Lamiaceae, Leguminosae, Myrtaceae, Rutaceae,... read more


    Almost year-round, e.g. Sept–Nov in SE Brazil (nominate), Nov–Feb in N Amazonian Brazil (viridiventris) and Dec–... read more


    Some local dispersal, especially in eastern parts of range, and in Venezuela considered highly... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Fairly common in more humid areas along forest borders and in riparian woodland; less common in more arid habitats. Accepts man-made... read more

    Recommended citation

    Weller, A.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). White-chinned Sapphire (Hylocharis cyanus). 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 14 November 2019).