Chrysobronchus viridicaudus

Green-tailed Humming-bird

The banks of the Amazon, from Para to the confines of Peru. I have also received specimens from Demerara.

As is the case with the foregoing species, Chrysobronchus virescens, much confusion has hitherto existed with regard to the correct specific name of this species, and it is the unravelling of the synonymy of such species as these which is the great plague of the Monographist.

Accompanying the list of synonyms which M. Bourcier sent me as in his opinion applicable to C. virescens were the synonyms given above as having reference to this species, and the following note respecting it:—

Il existe au muséum de Paris le type du viridissimus de Vieillot, qui ne laisse aucun doute à cet égard.

À l’époque où M. Lesson publiait son volume des. Trochilidées je lui envoyai divers sujets, afin qu'il puisse déterminer les deux espèces, confondues par les anciens auteurs, mais il n’y porta pas toute l’attention voulue, et il se contenta d’en faire une figure en lui conservant le nom de viridis.

Vous feriez bien d’admettre viridicaudus, Gould. J’avais conseillé au Prince Charles Lucien Bonaparte dans son ‘Conspectus’ d’adopter viridissimus; mais ce nom ayant aussi été donné par Lesson a une autre espéce, il vaut mieux ne pas s’en servir.

Whatever uncertainty there may be respecting the names applied to this bird, there is none with regard to the countries it inhabits, for we are constantly receiving specimens direct from all parts of the delta of the Amazon, from Para upwards to the tributary streams of Peru and New Grenada. It is also especially abundant in Guiana, Cayenne and Demerara, whence great numbers are sent to Paris in company with the other families of birds inhabiting those countries.

The sexes differ in the smaller size of the female, and in. that sex as well as the young of the year having the tail-feathers tipped with white and the under surface of a greyer or more uniform tint.

The male has the head, upper surface, wing- and tail-coverts bronzy green; under surface shining grassgreen; wings purplish brown; tail-feathers shining greenish bronze above and green beneath; vent and under tail-coverts white; upper mandible black; basal two-thirds of the under mandible fleshy red, the tip black.

The female is similarly clothed on the upper surface, but on the under is grey washed with green; and her lateral tail-feathers are slightly tipped with white.

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Mormodes atropurpurea.


  • Trochilus viridissimus, Aud. et Vieill. Ois. Dor., tom. i. p. 84. pl. 42.
  • Le Petit Colibri, Vieill. Ency. Méth. Orn., part ii. p. 957. pl. 129. fig. 1.
  • Ormsmya viridis, Less. Les Troch., p. 96. pl. 33.
  • Trochilus Theresiæ, Da Silva, Maia Minerva Brasiliensis, 1843, p. 2.

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