Eriocnemis simplex

Olive-coloured Puff-leg

The Andes in New Granada

The single specimen of this bird forming part of the collection of Edward Wilson, Esq., is the only one that has yet been sent to Europe.

It was received direct from Santa F é de Bogota, accompanied by other new and rare species, which induces a belief that it had been procured in some district not previously visited by collectors. Mr. Wilson, with his usual liberality, kindly lent me the specimen for the purpose of describing and figuring it, if requisite. During the three years it has been in my possession, I have frequently examined and carefully compared it with Eriocnemis cupreiventris, under the impression that it might possibly be merely a singular variety of that bird, but I have always returned to my original opinion, that it is a distinct species, and have therefore figured it as such on the accompanying Plate.

The colouring of the entire body is a nearly uniform dark olive-green, with a rufous tinge on the upper surface; the crown of the head and back of the neck tinted with purple; the rump and upper tailcoverts a very little brighter than the back; on the throat, a patch of scale-like feathers of a more glossy green than the other part of the under surface; wings purplish brown; tail black with purplish reflexions; thighs and tarsi thickly clothed with snow-white plumes, presenting a strong contrast to the dark colouring of the body; under tail-coverts dull bluish purple; bill and feet black.

The figures are of the natural size; the Cactus is a species common on the Columbian Andes.


  • Eriopus simplex, Gould in Proce. of Zool. Soc., 1849, p. 96.

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