Oreotrochilus Adelæ

Adela’s Hill-star

Bolivia ; the high lands around Chuquesaca being one of its localitie

This is one of the many novelties which rewarded the researches of M. D’Orbigny, who figured it for the first time in his fine work, the “Voyage dans l’Amérique Meéridionale,” and who states that he met with it in one instance only, on the dry and arid mountains in the neighbourhood of Chuquisaca in Bolivia, where it flies among the rocks and perches upon the loftiest plants.

It was also seen by Mr. Bridges during his travels in the same country, flying at a considerable elevation, and exhibiting many of the actions and manners of O. Estellæ and O. leucopleurus. The rich chestnut colouring of the flanks and the black mark down the centre of the abdomen render it conspicuously different from every other species of Humming Bird at present known to us; and it differs from the other Oreotrochili in having the tail-feathers of a narrower and more lengthened form, and in the outer feather on each side being broader and less incurved.

The sexes present the usual diversity of colouring, the female being of a very sombre hue.

The male has all the upper surface dark greyish olive-brown, passing into dull coppery green on the upper tail-coverts; wings brown, tinged with purple; two centre tail-feathers olive-brown; remainder of the tail-feathers vinous buff, narrowly margined with olive-brown; throat rich lustrous green, assuming a golden hue in some specimens; centre of the breast and abdomen deep velvety black, with a slight tinge of bluish green; sides of the chest and flanks rich deep chestnut; under tail-coverts olive-brown, tinged with buff; tarsi thickly clothed with brown feathers; bill, eyes and feet black.

Total length, 5 inches; bill, 1\(\frac{1}{4}\); wing, 2\(\frac{1}{2}\); tail, 2\(\frac{1}{4}\); tarsus, \(\frac{3}{8}\).

The female resembles the male in the colouring of the upper surface; has the lateral tail-feathers clouded instead of being regularly margined with brown; the throat white, regularly spangled with brown; the abdomen rufous; and the under tail-coverts and feathers clothing the tarsi pale brown.

Total length, 4\(\frac{1}{2}\) inches; bill, 1\(\frac{1}{8}\); wing, 2\(\frac{3}{8}\); tail, 2; tarsus, \(\frac{3}{8}\).

The figures represent the two sexes on a species of Salvia.


  • Trochilus Adela, D’Orb. et Lafr. Syn., No. 32. p. 33.—D’Orb. Voy. dans lAmér. Mérid., tom. iv. p. 377.
  • Orthorhynchus Adela, D’Orb. Voy. dans l Amér. Mérid., Atlas, Ois., pl. Of. tig, 2.
  • Oreotrochilus Adela, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part XV. 1847, p. 10.—Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, Oreotrochilus, sp. 4.

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