This page will focus for now on the hummingbirds of southeastern and south central Brazil and southwestern Ecuador. Hummers along with Parrots and their allies are my favorite tropical groups. The hummers are a Family (Trochilidae) restricted to North, Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands. Closely related to the swifts they are not likely to be mistaken for anything else. Of the 330 species or so in the world, only eighteen have moved into North America above the Mexican border.

And only a few of these have become significantly migratory species, most notably: the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) of the eastern United States and the Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) and Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) of the western US. In our winter season, only Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) and a few hardy Ruby-throats in south Florida remain in the US. Four of our NA species are vagrants only. The rest retreat after breeding to Mexico, Central America and northern South America.

Click here for some bird photos from NW Ecuador from 2011.

Click here for some bird photos from East Ecuador from 2012.


Luciano Breves' camera is located in southern coastal Brazil near Morretes. He is in the Atlantic coastal forests that are one of the most threatened habitats in South America due to the coastal preferences of people in general. The rainy breeding season for his local hummer group is in September through December and January mostly. Post breeding, like many hummers elsewhere, the species can disperse. Brazil, which is a very large country, has 81 species of hummingbird. Of these, about 30 or so make it into the southern and southeastern coastal forests. He keeps the feeders actively filled for that season. Most of his camera time post breeding is on the fruit feeders. Luciano also has a viewer on his current website for the Buenaventura camera which is located in southwest Ecuador. Ecuador is the major diversity center for hummingbirds. See, of course, the lists and links below for this. One of the most common visitors there is pictured to the right, the female Green Crowned Brilliant.

He has been trying to add a camera in the suburbs of Goi‚nia in central Brazil and these birds are also included below. This will add several species that are not seen in Luciano's Atlantic Forest yard in Morretes.

The hummers for these two areas (coastal and central Brazil and SW Ecuador) will be the birds focused on below for now. Note that remarkably only a few species overlap centrally and not one species occurs in both Ecuador and coastal Brazil. Ecuador birds are in blue and Brazil hummers are in mint green for Luck's yard area and orange for the upcoming Goi‚nia feeder. Names with split colors likely at both. Buttons are for various internet links. The 4th button is generally a link to xeno-canto the excellent bird recording site. That site also has photo links most of the time.

It is unclear how much continued study is going on of the hummers in Brazil. So the distributions are sometimes sketchy. If they are like our hummers they certainly wander out of the known ranges when it is not nesting season. The following list includes all southeastern Brazilian species. Birds included now which range into the central cities area near Goi‚nia. Not all of these have been seen at Luciano's feeders in Morretes.


   Scale-throated Hermit (Phaethornis eurynome) 14 cm

One of the large genus Phaethornis (16 species in Brazil)  that are rain forest lovers. Most males have leks and unless your feeder is adjacent to good forest, these are not common feeder birds. This is a common resident in southern coastal Brazil and adjacent countryside up to 2250 m. Has a pale scaled dark throat and the classic long white tail of the large Phaethornis.


   Dusky-throated Hermit (Phaethornis squalidus) 11 cm

Virtually the same range of the larger Scale-throated, but slightly smaller. Buffier and shorter tailed with a more uniform darkness to the throat. Vocalizations at the leks very different from above species. This species is not as common as the above or below species.

   Tawny-bellied Hermit (Phaethornis syrmatophorus) 13 cm

Pretty rare on the western slope of the Andes especially south but possible at the El Oro area. Distinctive tawny underparts. This is one of the long-tailed species. And this one is very long tailed. Bright orangish rump. 

   Baron's Hermit (Phaethornis baroni) 13 cm

Appears several times a week at the Buenaventura camera but generally briefly. The long tail feather is distinct with the pale breast. Could only be confused in this area with the Tawny-belly which I have not seen at El Oro yet. Very similar to P. superciliosus of Central America. Hermits have a distinctive noise. But the chatter at El Oro makes it difficult to separate. 4th link to xeno is for Long-tailed Hermit as xeno has not split them yet.

   Planalto Hermit (Phaethornis pretrei) 14 cm

Much more widespread species into central and NW Brazil. This species may not make it quite down to Luciano's location. This is a larger species again with cinnamon tones to the belly and a frankly orange rump. Has fancy large white tips to the lateral tail feathers and long central retrices.

   Reddish Hermit (Phaethornis ruber) 9 cm

Tiny Hermit that is stub-tailed in comparison to the above. Central tail feathers are not that prominent. Very orange overall underneath. Male has a black chest collar. Orange tail tips on both sexes. Occurs in the southern forests and in a large area over northern Amazonia including the central camera area.

   Rufous-breasted Hermit (Glaucis hirsutus) 11 cm

Also known as the Hairy. May not occur in Luciano's camera area. Definitely will occur in the central area. In a different genus from all the above. Rounded tail and lacks the double striped mask of most of the other species. Tail is tipped with smaller amount of white. No elongation of central feathers at all. No orange on back. Orange breast not as bright as the Reddish.

   Saw-billed Hermit (Ramphodon naevius) 15 cm

Monotypic genus in the Hermits. And a rare and endangered species that lives only in the coastal forests. This is a big Hermit with dark vertical breast banding. Nice buffy orange cheeks. Shows up at Luciano's feeder almost daily but for only brief appearances.

   White-vented Violetear (Colibri serrirostris) 13 cm

Three of the four Colibri in the world occur in Brazil and the other species is Central American and wanders rarely to the US. This is a brilliant blue and green species. With large blue ear patches and a white vent. Female not as brightly marked with more white on the vent. Likely not mistaken for anything else in the coastal region. Not seen yet on Luciano's cam but the range covers his area. Should be a significant visitor to the central cam location.

   Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis) 12 cm

One of the three widespread Mango species. Four others occur locally in Puerto Rico, the Antilles, Jamaica and Panama respectively. This one is throughout Brazil. And in the summer season for Luciano this is one of the dominant feeder birds at nectar. Large species with a marked male and female differential. The female has the distinctive black stripe down the middle of the white vent. This stripe can be used to separate distinct females. She also has prominent white tail tips. The male tail is bright blood red right and left. His throat and breast are a dark and deep black blue color. These can swarm at the feeder. Watch for the red tail on the feeder flairs. Will occur into the central cam region as well making it one of the most common overlappers. May not be as seasonal at the central camera.

   White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora) 12 cm

The genus has only two species and this is the far more extensively distributed one. In Ecuador, at the Buenaventura camera, this is one of the three most common species. The males are blue headed and green backed with a very sharp distinction between the head and belly of pure white. It is the hummer at the top of this page. There is a white slash across the upper back in males or variable density. But it is distinct. Females are green backed with throat and upper belly ticked with dark markings. No blues other than some reflections in the throat markings. This species occurs in Central American and in NW Brazil but will not occur at Luck's camera. The fine Birds of Ecuador does not show it extending into El Oro but it obviously does. Will be interesting to see if any of this species appears at the Goi‚nia location.

   Black Jacobin (Florisuga fusca) 13 cm

The Tuxedo, as we call them. Male and female similar. A striking white and black hummingbird. This one found only in southern coastal Brazil. Black body and white tail pretty much describes it. Active at Luciano's feeders but a once or twice an hour bird. Likes to hover while feeding and often cocks the tail up. Second link below is Luck's video. The White-necked Jacobin is common at the Ecuador camera of the World Trust but does not occur in southern Brazil.

   Violet-capped Woodnymph (Thalurania glaucopis) 10 cm

One of three in this genus in Brazil. With very little overlap in range. This is the only species of Woodnymph on the coastal plain with violet on the head. The green in this genus is intensely reflective. Females very plain white breasted with white tail tips. Similar intense green over the whole back. Very aggressive medium to small males at Luciano's feeders. Males distinct. The male tail very forked but these are much smaller overall in size and length compared to the Swallowtailed Hummingbird. For some reason this species seems to prefer feeder stations on the back side of Luciano's hummer feeders.

   Fork-tailed Woodnymph (Thalurania furcata) 10 cm

The Thalurania with the largest distribution in Brazil but generally away from the coastal forests. Should be the central cameras dominant WN. Reverse colored from the VC above with a bright green throat contrasting with the blue violet reflective belly. Females very similar and likely not separable where the two species overlap.


   Emerald-bellied Woodnymph (Thalurania hypochlora) 9.5 cm

One of the hummers in Ecuador that I have never seen on camera. And the only Thalurania in El Oro. Female must be strikingly similar to the species below. A very local animal in Ecuador and may not be common. Previously related to T. columbica. The 3rd link to ibc lynx is the related species.

   Violet-bellied Hummingbird (Damophila julie) 7.5 cm

A truly intense little bird. Very closely related to the above Woodnymph. The striking violet belly is easily seen in all but the poorest light. Highly reflectant in the greens and the purples. Small compared to the commoner large species on the Ecuador camera. Often perches on the far side of the feeder. The female looks like a small white bellied Emerald. She still has a blue tail. Relatively short curved beak.

   Rufous-throated Sapphire (Hylocharis sapphirina) 9 cm

Violet-copper tail is distinctive. Male pretty dark overall in poor light. Small patch of rufous orange below the beak in both sexes. Female otherwise white bellied. Male beak very orange with violet face below the orange patch. Either shy or range is just above Luciano's camera. Not seen at the time of this page preparation at the feeders there.

   White-chinned Sapphire (Hylocharis cyanus) 9 cm

Dark tailed and duller colored Sapphire. No orange on chin. Male beak orange with black tip as in the above Hylocharis. Female with purplish throat scaling. Both Sapphires are uncommon in range. Should also be at the central camera area.

   Versicolored Emerald (Agyrtria versicolor) 9 cm

The only Emerald in this genus in southern Brazil. And the experts keep wavering on its status. Very different from the Emeralds below. Common at Luciano's camera. Commonest form has the white throat stripe of the breast all the way to the beak with the iridescent cheeks. Green backed. Dark subterminal tail band without marked white tipping. In the rest of Brazil this bird has some color on the upper throat. This species appears very small next to the other common species at Luck's such as the Mango and the Sombre. Some orange in the beak in good light. A different subspecies form occurs at the central camera location. 

   Plovercrest (Stephanoxis lalandi) 9 cm

One of the hummingbirds we all want to see. Only one species in the genus. A crested hummer with blues and purples at the throat offset by grey white border. Female also crested with no blues. Woodland lover. And may not compete easily at the feeder with the larger hummers. Standard green black and white-tipped tail.

   Ruby-Topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) 9 cm

Another stunner. 'Wow' is all I can say on this one. The male really unmistakable with the red crest and golden throat contrasting. Female much drabber green and white bird with large double triangle of orange in the tail. Female still has kind of a hairdo thing going for her as well. Male tail mostly orange. Female tail with strongly bordered orange triangles trailed by dark band and then white tips. Very short thin straight beak. Range to just north of Luciano's feeders. But one can hope. Should be a visitor at the central camera location.

   Frilled Coquette (Lophornis magnificus) 7 cm

Five Lophornis Coquette's in Brazil with two species in the SE coastal forests. Very small compact hummers with head adornments in the males. All tend to have the white bands across the rump that they share with the Thorntails. This is in both sexes. This male has a bright orange head tuft. Female with some orange around the base of the beak. Green and orange tails. Should be the most likely Coquette at the central feeder location.

   Festive Coquette (Lophornis chalybeus) 8 cm

Black head frills, without a marked crest. Darkish underparts in the male. Both sexes again with the white rump band. No orange on face or beak base in this female. Tail of male dark orange. Female is seen fairly frequently now at Luck's yard feeder at least in his summer season.

   Green Thorntail (Popelairia conversii) 9.5 cm M; 7cm F

Looks like a spiny tailed Coquette without head dressing. Male with the long tail. Both with the white line across the rump like a Coquette. Male often appears darkish on the Ecuador cam. But really with very green throat and head in male. Female with a white facial mark. Rarely absent from the Ecuador cam view. Only Thorntail on the Pacific Ecuadorian slope. Feeds with its tail cocked high in the air.

   Andean Emerald (Amazilia franciae) 9 cm

A west Andean species that is fairly common at the Ecuador feeder. Looks more like the Versicoloured Emerald at Luck's feeders than the related Amazilia species. A white throated, white bellied bird with green flanks and a shining green back. Lower bill is orange. Dark tailed. Sexes essentially similar.

   Glittering-throated Emerald (Amazilia fimbriata) 9 cm

Also an Emerald but this one is dark tailed and brilliant green throated. In the right light the throat reflects iridescently. The female has some scaling of white on the throat. Told quickly by the white wedge that points up from the pure white vent. Orange bill on the lower mandible. An active bird at Luciano's feeders. Outsized and less aggressive than the Woodnymph and the larger Sombre. Often busy just before dusk in his yard. Widespread Brazilian species which should also be common at the central feeder location.

   Sapphire-spangled Emerald (Amazilia lactea) 10 cm

Like the above species but blue throated. Tail slightly darker blue. Range perhaps not quite to Luciano's feeders and not seen there yet. Most common in the SE of Brazil. Comes awful close to the central camera site.  

   Green-crowned Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula) 11.5 cm (male)

A common and conspicuous hummer at the Ecuador camera. Both sexes often continuously present. Competes with the Jacobin for commonest bird there. Males appear all dark sometimes with a slight white mark behind the eye. Tail is all dark blue in male and tipped slightly with white in female. Compare the female White-necked Jacobin which has a three colored tail (light green-brown at base, then black then white). Note the Brilliant female's eye mark and the white line beneath the eye. Female belly pale with green spackles almost to vent.

   Sombre Hummingbird (Aphantochroa cirrochloris) 12 cm

A large and aggressive hummingbird at feeders in coastal Brazil. Overall dull green gray with a white post eye mark that is easily seen. Long rounded wings with a pale terminal tail band. Females may appear slightly paler beneath than males. Dark beak. Endangered but you couldn't tell by Luciano's feeder activity. Present almost every hour of the day there. We will have to see if the Sombre range extends to the camera in Goi‚nia.

   White-tailed Goldenthroat (Polytmus guainumbi) 10 cm

Small curve-billed hummer with the double white eye lines of a Hermit. Male with strongly marked and distinctive tail of white and green alternating stripes. Female pale bellied with one white eye line and the curved beak silhouette. Her tail bright green with white tips. Water lover, not yet seen at Luciano's feeders. Should be a central camera staple.

   Glittering-bellied Emerald (Chlorostilbon lucidus) 10 cm

Medium size dark-tailed species with tail forked and actually deep blue. Male looks almost all dark green with iridescent belly tones. Bluish purplish reflections over most of the throat. Male bill mainly orange with a dark tip. Female bill more darkened over most of the last half. She has all white belly and a prominent white eye line. Tail the same as male. Not common at Luciano's feeder but widespread in southern Brazil. I see more females than males there.

   Brazilian Ruby (Clytolaema rubricauda) 11 cm

An endangered hummer restricted to the SE coastal forests. Straight short black beak with an extensively bronze-rufous tail and lower rump. Female orange over most of throat and belly where male is iridescent green with a bright red-pink-purple throat patch. There is a very dark melanistic form which offsets the orange tail even more.

   Gilded Hummingbird (Hylocharis chrysura) 9 cm

Resembles a Sapphire. Overall light green-gold with orange beak. Sexes similar. Tail paler with some slight golden tones. Has a gap in the range near Luciano's feeder location but found in most of southern Brazil otherwise. Not yet seen there. Range comes very close to the central camera area but unclear yet if it wanders there.

   White-throated Hummingbird (Leucochloris albicollis) 11 cm

Very distinct white throat. Looks like a Glittering-throated with a white throat patch. Straight beak and also has the white vent with narrowing upwards like the Glittering-throated. Pretty rare visitor to Luciano's feeder but fairly common in the most southern section of Brazil.

   Swallow-tailed Hummingbird (Eupetomena macroura) 16 cm

A unique hummer in all of Brazil and a 'wow' bird for anyone. Large bird with the tail included and the sexes are similar. Tail very divided and blue as is the entire head. Most of the back and belly are green. Could only be mistaken for the very fork-tailed Woodnymph which is a much smaller bird. This bird makes daily appearances at Luciano's feeders during Brazilian summer. Not aggressive for its size. But does guard its feeder perch by flaring wings and tail. Makes you catch your breath. The Portuguese name translates strikingly as 'flower kisser with the big scissors.'

   Black-eared Fairy (Heliothryx auritus) 12 cm

Remarkable genus with this species similar to the Central American Purple-crowned Fairy except lacking purple and having a dark face mask. Females notably with longer and fancier tails than males. Fairies have a flight that is balletic and delicate and is accentuated by the fluttering, floppy flagging of the tail. Just beautiful to watch. Not likely to be mistaken once seen.

   Horned Sungem (Heliactin bilophus) 10 cm

A gem certainly. In its own genus. Horned like a grebe. With a blue forehead in males. And males are unlikely to be mistaken for other hummers. Female tail distinctive as well with her tail being a dark flying Y amidst white.


   Long-billed Starthroat (Heliomaster longirostris) 12 cm

A genus with three species in Brazil. This species is mainly northern but should occur in the central camera area and it has been seen in Ecuador at the BV cam. More neutral color scheme with male purple throat offset by downward white cheek lines. Pale rump like the SBS below. Female very similar to below as well.


   Stripe-breasted Starthroat (Heliomaster squamosus) 12 cm

Only this species and the Blue-tufted occur near Luciano's area. Large hummers. This one with white line adjacent to the much larger purple throat gorget in the male. Green backed. Female with mostly white belly and breast and some stripes on the throat. Pale gray rump patches on both species. Slightly forked tail. Flanks are greener in the female of this species than LBS above.

   Blue-tufted Starthroat (Heliomaster furcifer) 13 cm

The Blue-tufted occurs mostly west and northwest of Luciano's area. He has seen one at his yard feeders, so likely a wanderer only over to the Morretes area. Male is bright blue-purple beneath with blue and purple gorget. Tail is more deeply forked. Female similar to above female except lacks any throat striping. No green on flanks of female. A subadult male and a male and a female photos are linked currently.

   Amethyst Woodstar (Calliphlox amethystina) 6 cm

Smaller than a Coquette, making them truly diminutive. Only member of this genus in Brazil making this one really unmistakable there. Tawny flanks in both sexes with a white bar extending towards the back. Purple gorget in male and forked tail. Female with complicated mask and facial markings and more rounded tail. Should be the only Woodstar in the central camera area.