Amazilia alticola

Mountain Amazili

The high lands of Central Peru; the precise locality uncertain.

I am indebted to M. Bourcier, of Paris, for an example of this new species, which, he informs me, is from the Puna district in Peru.

In size it exceeds the Amazilia pristina, the A. Dumerili and the A. leucophea. In the general style of its colouring it is very similar to the latter; but, compared with that species, it is a giant in point of size, it has also a less amount of the glittering green on the cheeks and sides of the neck. It is to the present bird and the three species above mentioned that I would wish to restrict the generic term of Amazilia; for they form a very natural section, distinguished by their peculiar form and style of colouring. All are natives of Ecuador and Peru, to which countries they appear to be confined; while the other species, to which the generic term of Pyrrhophæna has been applied, are widely spread, and the greater number of them are natives of Mexico and Central America.

But little is known respecting the typical Amaziliæ, and less about the present bird than of any of the others. I believe, however, that there is no difference in the colouring of the sexes of any of them.

Crown of the head and back of the neck dark brown, with very slight reflexions of golden green; back of the neck, back, and rump golden or orange green; upper part of the throat, cheeks, and sides of the neck light golden green; lower part of the throat, chest, centre of the abdomen, thighs, and. the thickly clothed tarsi pure white; flanks rich bright buff; under tail-coverts white washed with buff; tail rich deep reddish buff, the two centre feathers washed with bronzy green, and the four outer ones, on each side, washed on their outer edges with bronzy green; wings purplish brown; bill black at the tip, the remainder white or flesh-colour.

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Chuquiraga insignis.


  • Amazilia alticola, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part xxviii. p. 309.

More hummingbirds in the genus Amazilia

Poster preview

Get a poster

Featuring all 422 illustrated species from John Gould’s A Monograph of the Trochilidæ, or Family of Humming-Birds arranged by color.