Bourcieria Inca


Province of Coroico in Bolivia; 6000 or 8000 feet (Warszewicz).

We are indebted to M. Warszewicz for the discovery of this very charming species, examples of both sexes of which grace my collection.

They were obtained during the month of July in the province of Coroico in Bolivia, while hovering over a species of Bejaria, at an altitude of from six to eight thousand feet. The first example I received was a young male, of which I gave a description in Sir William Jardine’s “Contributions to Ornithology” for 1852, accompanied by the remark, that, “whenever the adult becomes known, it will doubtless prove to be one of the finest species of the Trochilidæ yet discovered.” In the interval which has since elapsed, an adult example of each sex has been obtained, and I am therefore enabled to attempt their delineation; and an attempt is all it can be called, for it is utterly impossible to give a correct representation of this glittering gem on paper. It is by far the finest species of the genus to which I have assigned it, and affords additional evidence of the extraordinary richness of the natural productions of the Peruvian and Bolivian forests. Like the other members of the genus, it frequents moderately high lands where an almost equable temperature prevails.

The male has the crown of the head, back of the neck, sides of the face and throat jet-black, relieved by a spot of glittering green on the forehead; the tips of the feathers on the throat are also fringed with the same, but less brilliant, hue; across the throat a crescent of rich cinnamon-red extending upwards on to the sides of the neck; all the upper and under surfaces beautiful green, assuming a metallic lustre on the breast and flanks; upper tail-coverts and two central tail-feathers green with bronzy reflexions; lateral tail-feathers white tipped with bronzy green, which colours extend down the margin of the outer ones for three-fourths of their length; under tail-coverts green; wings purplish brown; feathers of the thighs and tarsi white; bill black; feet yellow or flesh-colour.

The female has the crown of the head and back of the neck green, clouded with black; back, upper tailcoverts, shoulders and flanks vivid bronzy green; throat, cheeks and gorget-like band on the breast cinnamon-red, clouded on the throat with brown, and spangled with green on the cheeks; thighs buffy white; wings and tail as in the male.

The figures represent both sexes of the size of life.


  • Bourcieria Inca, Gould in Jard. Cont. to Orn. 1852, p. 136.
  • Bourcieria inca, Bonap. Consp. Troch. in Rey. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 252.

More hummingbirds in the genus Bourciera

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.