Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Near Threatened

White-tufted Sunbeam (Aglaeactis castelnaudii)


French: Colibri de Castelnau German: Rotbrust-Andenkolibri Spanish: Colibrí condecorado

Trochilus Castelnaudii

Bourcier and Mulsant

, 1848,

mountains near Cuzco, Peru


Closely related to A. cupripennis and perhaps A. aliciae. May be sister-species of A. pamela. Morphology suggests past gene flow with A. cupripennis, but now reproductively isolated. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. c. regalis J. T. Zimmer, 1951 – Northern White-tufted Sunbeam – Andes of C Peru (Huánuco, Pasco, Junín).
  • A. c. castelnaudii Bourcier & Mulsant, 1848 – Southern White-tufted Sunbeam – Andes of Huancavelica, Ayacucho, Apurímac and Cuzco, in SC Peru.
  • Descriptive notes

    12 cm; 7–8·5 g. Bill straight, black. Immediate impression is fuscous with tawny tail, the shining back is displayed when hovering. Male above fuscous-black with... read more


    Calls include a repeated “tzit” and during chases a twittering series, “titi-tsreet-tsreet-tsreet”... read more


    Inhabits patches of evergreen montane forest in slightly drier zones and often at much greater... read more

    Food and feeding

    Takes nectar from flowers of Barnadesia, Berberis, Brachyotum, Centropogon, Labiatae, Lupinus... read more


    Not known.


    Remains in the same area during short periods of heavy snow. However, seasonal habitat shifts may... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Peruvian High Andes EBA. Common at very few sites. It was,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fjeldså, J., Boesman, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). White-tufted Sunbeam (Aglaeactis castelnaudii). 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 9 December 2019).