Calothorax Fanny

Fanny’s Wood Star

Ecuador and Peru

That Humming Birds, like other beauties of a higher type in creation, have their ardent admirers, is evident from the attention which has been lavished by ornithologists upon the one here represented, to which no less than six generic and two specific appellations have been assigned by five authors.

Of the former I have retained that of Calothorax; of the latter I select the living name of Fanny, as it appears to have precedence over the dead one of Labrador, which was given to it by M. Bourcier on account of the colouring of its throat resembling the hues of the spar of that name. Now where does this bird find a natural habitat? Not in Mexico, as stated by M. Bourcier in the “Annals of the Scientific Society of Lyons,” but in the districts bordering the sea, in Peru and Bolivia, where several of my specimens were collected and sent to me direct by M. Warszewicz.

The Calothorax Fanny is a very beautiful species, and is rendered remarkable by the singular construction of its tail, which, when outspread, looks as if it had been deprived of, or had lost all its middle feathers; such, however, is not the case, for, like all Humming Birds, it possesses the full complement of ten; the central ones must, however, be regarded as mere. apologies, for, although they are perfectly formed, they are so short that they are nearly hidden by the coverts—a circumstance which has obtained for it the name of ‘half-tail’ among the dealers.

The female of this species, like the female of C. Yarrelli, differs considerably from her mate in her colouring, as will be seen on reference to the Plate or to the following descriptions.

The male has the head, upper surface and wing-coverts golden bronzé, becoming of a greener hue on the upper tail-coverts; wings purplish brown; tail brownish black, glossed with bronze; lores and throat metallic glaucous-green, changing to blue and then to violet on the lower margin of these feathers; across the breast a broad band of greyish white; upper part of the flanks bronzy; lower part fawn-colour; upper part of the abdomen dusky; lower part and under tail-coverts white; bill and feet dark brown.

The female has the upper surface and wings as in the male; central tail-feathers of the ordinary form, not abbreviated as in the opposite sex, and of a bronzy green; next on each side bronzy green, tipped with black; the remainder grey at the base, black in the middle, and largely tipped with white; all the under surface deep greyish buff or fawn-colour.

The Plate represents two males and a female of the size of life. The plant is the Passifora nigrelliflora.


  • Ornismya Fanny, Less. Ann. Sci. Nat. 1838, tom. ix. p. 170.—Ib. Rev. Zool. 1838, p: 314.
  • Trochilus Labrador, Boure. Ann. de la Soc. Sci. de Lyons, 1839, p. 389. pl. viii.—De Latt. Rev. Zool. 1846, p. 311.
  • Calothorax Fanny, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 110, Calothorax, sp. 14.
  • Thaumastura fanny, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 85, Thaumastura, sp. 3.
  • Lucifer labrador, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 257.
  • Lucifer Labrador, Reichenb. Troch. enumer., p. 10.
  • Myrtis Fanny, Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 13.

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