Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Near Threatened

Wire-crested Thorntail (Discosura popelairii)


French: Coquette de Popelaire German: Haubenfadenelfe Spanish: Rabudito crestado

Trochilus popelairii

Du Bus de Gisignies

, 1846,





Foothills in E Colombia (W Meta), E Ecuador and E Peru (S to Puno). Recorded also in adjacent Bolivia#R.

Descriptive notes

Male c. 11·4 cm (including long tail), female 7·5–8·2 cm; c. 2·5 g. Male has short straight black bill; crown glittering green with long... read more


A quiet, somewhat liquid “tew” has been noted.


Humid forest and edges at 500–1500 m; sole record from Bolivia was at 400 m. Usually forages... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on nectar of flowering Inga trees; also takes arthropods.


One nest in Apr (Colombia) saddled at end of branch 8 m above ground.


No information available. Probably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Currently treated as Near Threatened. Generally rare, e.g. in Peru, with just one (recent) record in Bolivia, although some observations of... read more

Recommended citation

Züchner, T. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Wire-crested Thorntail (Discosura popelairii). 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 21 February 2020).