Erythronota Feliciæ

Felicia’s Erythronote


The Erythronota Feliciæ is a species closely allied to the E. antiqua—so close, in fact, that it is extremely difficult to distinguish it from that bird in some states of its plumage.

The tail-feathers of the E. Feliciæ, however, are more blue, and its upper surface is wholly green, except on the lower part of the back and on the upper tail-coverts, which in some specimens are brown, and in others violaceous. Its under tail-coverts appear to be subject to as much variation as those of its near ally; for in some they are russet brown, in others violet, in others, again, violet green, and I have seen a few in which the two colours are intermingled. Venezuela appears to be the native country of this bird. One of my specimens, collected on the Orinoco, seems to be somewhat immature; for all the tail-feathers are beautifully tipped with bright fiery purple, and the lower part of the back and upper tail-coverts are buff; still I have no doubt of its being the same bird. When the E. Feliciæ has perfected its moult, its body is clothed in a deep and pure green, which on exposure to light and air changes to a brown or golden hue. I have not been able to detect any difference in the colouring of the sexes, and I believe their discrimination will be impossible unless dissection of freshly killed examples be resorted to.

Crown-of the head, all the upper surface, and wing-coverts green, a bronzy hue prevailing on the lower part of the back; upper tail-coverts fiery purple in some specimens; all the under surface shining grassgreen; wings steel-blue; tail deep bluish black; under tail-coverts violet and green intermingled; upper mandible black; under mandible fleshy-red, with a black tip; feet black.

The three figures in the accompanying plate are of the size of life. The plant is the Odontoglossum hastilabium, var. fuscatum.


  • Ornismya Feliciæ, Less. in Rev. Zool. 1840, p. 72.
  • Ornismya Feliciae, Reichenb. Aufz. der Col., p. 7.
  • Saucerottia felicia, Bonap. in Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 255.
  • Chlorestes Feliciae, Reichenb. Troch. Enum., p. 6, pl. 697. figs. 455–657.
  • Hemithylaca Feliciae, Cab. et Hein. Mus. Hein., p. 38, note.
  • Trochilus Emile.

More hummingbirds in the genus Erythronota

Poster preview

Get a poster

Featuring all 422 illustrated species from John Gould’s A Monograph of the Trochilidæ, or Family of Humming-Birds arranged by color.