Eriocnemis cupreiventris

Coppery-bellied Puff-leg

The Andes in New Granada

The great beauty of the Eriocnemis cupreiventris, and the large size of the white tufts clothing its legs, rendering it a very conspicuous object, it is much sought after by collectors; and, judging from the great number of specimens sent to Europe from Santa Fé de Bogota, it would seem to be one of the most abundant of the Humming-birds inhabiting that country.

It evinces a preference for the temperate regions lying at an elevation of from six to nine thousand feet, and appears never to visit the colder districts above or the warmer valleys below. From the circumstance of no examples occurring in collections from any other part of South America than Columbia, it would seem that its range is of limited extent.

The sexes are very much alike, and both have the white muff-like decoration on the leg, but it is not so much developed in the female as in the male; the young is also very similar, but differs in having the throat dull brownish black instead of luminous green.

The male has the crown of the head, sides of the neck, back and wing-coverts bronzy green, passing into bright shining green on the upper tail-coverts; wings purplish brown; tail purplish black; throat shining green; under surface golden green, passing into a rich coppery hue on the abdomen; leg-ruffs snow-white; under tail-coverts rich shining lazuline blue; bill black; feet brown.

The figures are of the size of life.


  • Trochilus cupreventris, Fras. in Proc. Zool. Soc., Part viii. p. 40.
  • Ornismya vestita ♀, Longuem., Less. in Rev. Zool. 1838, p. 314?
  • Ornismya maniculata, Less.?
  • Hylocharis cupreoventris, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 114, Hylocharis, sp. 3.
  • Eriopus cupreiventris, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 80, Eriopus, sp. 3.

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