Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

White-sided Hillstar (Oreotrochilus leucopleurus)


French: Colibri à flancs blancs German: Weißflanken-Andenkolibri Spanish: Colibrí cordillerano

Oreotrochilus leucopleurus


, 1847,

Chilean Cordilleras


Thought to be closely related to O. chimborazo, O. estella and O. stolzmanni, and all four have been considered conspecific; separated largely on morphological grounds. O. estella overlaps slightly with present species, with some hybridization; present species is, however, the form least frequently lumped into O. estella. Monotypic.


S Bolivia (Tarija; winter records from Cochabamba#R) S through Andes to SC Chile (Bío-Bío) and S Argentina (WC Santa Cruz).

Descriptive notes

13–15 cm (bill 2 cm), 7·9–8·4 g. Bill slightly curved, black. Resembles O. estella, with which there is potential geographical overlap in... read more


Poorly known. Calls include a repeated short “tsit”. Also a fast twittering during chasing or... read more


Puna with dwarf bushes, columnar cacti and Puya, at 1200–4000 m, sometimes... read more

Food and feeding

Probably as O. estella; feeds on nectar from flowers of Barnadesia, Berberis and Chuquiragua bushes,... read more


Nov–Dec. Large cup-shaped nest is glued to a vertical rock-face, usually in a well-protected site. Clutch size two eggs. No further... read more


During the southern winter normally leaves its Chilean territory, but a record in Jul at 600 m in N... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Generally common; limits of range in Argentina recently found to extend much further S than previously thought. Large tracts of core... read more

Recommended citation

Fjeldså, J., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). White-sided Hillstar (Oreotrochilus leucopleurus). 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 3 April 2020).