Eriocnemis lugens

Hoary Puff-leg

Ecuador; western side of Pichincha (Jameson)

I received my first specimen of this new bird through the kindness of Professor Jameson of Quito, who collected it at a considerable elevation on the western side of Pichincha; a second and very similar example I procured of M. Parzudaki of Paris, and these are all that I have yet seen.

The Hoary Puff-leg is a true Eriocnemis in every respect, and is somewhat allied to E. cupreiventris and E. simplex. I am unable to say whether the specimens I possess are of opposite sexes or not, but, judging from analogy, I suspect that no difference occurs in the outward appearance of the males and females.

From the sombre colouring, and the dense and lax plumage of this species, it would appear to be adapted for cold and elevated regions.

Crown of the head, back, shoulders and upper tail-coverts bronzy green, slightly tinged on the latter with rufous; throat, abdomen and under tail-coverts hoary black, with a tinge of green on the flanks, and a narrow fringe of white on each of the feathers of the throat and chest, giving those parts a scaly appearance; wings purplish black; tail bluish black; feathers of the thighs white, and lengthened so as to form a puff; front of the tarsi and toes purplish black, yellowish beneath; bill black, with a yellowish tint on the base of the lower mandible.

The figures are the size of life.


  • Eriopus lugens, Gould in Jard. Cont. to Orn. for 1851, p. 140.
  • Eriocnemys lugens, Bonap. Consp. Troch. in Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 252.

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