Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

White-vented Plumeleteer (Chalybura buffonii)


French: Colibri de Buffon German: Blauschwanz-Buffonkolibri Spanish: Colibrí de Buffon

Trochilus Buffonii


, 1832,

Brazil; error = Bogotá region, Colombia


Type specimen has sometimes been ascribed to populations from Panama and W Colombia, with consequent reshuffling of subspecific nomenclature; under that arrangement, birds currently listed as nominate become race interior, whereas those of current race micans become nominate. Another variation occasionally adopted, under present arrangement with type locality of Bogotá region, involves population around L Maracaibo basin being split as a separate race, for which name interior is likewise available; these differences, however, are slight, and subspecific separation of Maracaibo birds unjustified. In the past, race caeruleogaster often considered a separate species; differs from other forms of C. buffonii in its extensive glittering blue vs glittering green underparts in male (3), but, despite suggestions elsewhere, specimens in AMNH and NHMUK not appreciably larger than other taxa, nor is tail all dark blue vs green-and-dark blue (both sexes) or underparts plain grey vs green-mottled grey (female). Race intermedia of C. urochrysia, from SW Ecuador, sometimes ascribed to present species, but its largely pinkish mandible supports treatment in that species; nevertheless, it may be better considered a separate species; more study required. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. b. micans Bangs & Barbour, 1922 – C & E Panama and W Colombia S to Nariño (Pacific slope, Cauca Valley and head of Magdalena Valley).
  • C. b. buffonii (Lesson, 1832) – White-vented Plumeleteer – C Colombia (upper and middle Magdalena Valley) to S & W parts of L Maracaibo basin and adjacent slopes in extreme NE Colombia and NW Venezuela (Zulia and W Mérida).
  • C. b. aeneicauda Lawrence, 1865 – N Colombia (lower Magdalena Valley and Santa Marta region) to W & NC Venezuela (along S slope of Andes and on coastal slope).
  • C. b. caeruleogaster (Gould, 1847) – Blue-bellied Plumeleteer – N & C Colombia (E slope of E Andes).
  • Descriptive notes

    10·5–12 cm; male 6–7·3 g, female 5·9–7·9 g. Bill always completely black, feet black. Male of nominate dark metallic green above... read more


    Song undescribed, but gives “chip” notes when foraging.


    Dry, moist and wet forests, forest edges, coffee plantations, semi-open and second growth; in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Takes nectar from flowers of a variety of trees (Inga, Calliandra, Trichanthera, Erythrina), shrubs (... read more


    Season Sept (micans, C Panama), Mar–Jul or Aug (buffonii, Magdalena Valley), Jun–Nov (caeruleogaster... read more


    No information available.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Uncommon to fairly common in most areas, and seems able to tolerate considerable disturbance, taking advantage of forest... read more

    Recommended citation

    Stiles, F.G., Kirwan, G.M. & de Juana, E. (2020). White-vented Plumeleteer (Chalybura buffonii). 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 19 February 2020).