Sporadinus? Maugæi

Maugé’s Humming-Bird

Porto Rico

It is very interesting to the ornithologist to observe that most of the West India Islands, particularly those of any extent, are tenanted by species of birds which are not found in the others.

The Sporadinus Maugæi is a native of Porto Rico, and, as far as we yet know, is peculiar to that island; strange to say, however, no other specimens besides the two contained in the Museum of the Jardin des Plantes have ever reached Europe. Here, then, is an island that has not yet been visited by the ornithological collector; had it been, the bird would ere this have become common. As to affinity, the S. Maugæi is more nearly allied to the S. Riccordi than to any other; at the same time it differs in form, being intermediate between it and the long-tailed Mexican species to which I have applied the generic name of Chlorostilbon, or, rather, to those bearing that of Chlorolampis, of which the C. auriceps and C. Caniveti are typical examples. Its tail is still more forked than those of the latter, but not so much so as those of the former; but it differs from both in not having the conspicuous bands at the terminations of the central feathers. I think it necessary to go into these particulars because I have hinted elsewhere that probably some future ornithologist may think it requisite to assign to this bird a distinctive generic appellation.

The following short note and description are translated from Audebert and Vieillot’s ‘Oiseaux dorés,’ above referred to:—

This species has not yet, I believe, been described. Maugé being the first to make it known, I have given it his name. Its only habitat is one of those islands, Porto Rico, which by its position offers to our notice productions similar to those of St. Domingo. It is three inches and seven lines in length; the upper mandible is black, and the lower yellowish; the upper part of the body is of a beautiful golden green; the lower is of the same colour, but more brilliant, with blue and violet reflexions; the lower part of the belly is white; the feathers of the wings and of the tail are of a velvety black which changes into bluish violet; the lateral tail-feathers are fourteen lines in length; the others all diminish in length up to the intermediaries, which are the shortest; the wings when folded somewhat exceed the latter; the feet are black.

The following are my own notes on the colouring, taken during the present year, 1861, from the specimens

in the Jardin des Plantes:—

The male has the crown glittering green; upper surface dull grass-green, inclining to blue on the upper tail-coverts; throat and all the under surface glittering green, with a stain of blue on the chest; wings purplish brown; tail uniform steel-blue; under tail-coverts green; upper mandible black; under mandible reddish flesh-colour with a black tip.

The female has the upper surface green; the under surface greyish white; upper surface, sides of the neck, and flanks green; two centre tail-feathers green, the rest greenish grey at the base, banded with steel-blue near the tip; the two outer feathers tipped with greyish white.

The figures represent the two sexes of the size of life. The plant is the Dictyanthus Pavonii.


  • Trochilus Maugæus, Vieill. Dict. Hist. Nat., tom. vii. p.—Aud. et Vieill. Ois. dor., tom. i. pp. 77, 79, 80, and pls. 37, 38.— Bonn. et Vieill. Ency. Méth. Orn., part iii, p. 567.—Buff. Hist. Nat. des Ois., Sonn. édit., tom. liii. p. 237.
  • Ornismya Maugæi, Less. Hist. Nat. des Ois.-Mou., p. 194, pls. 68, 69.—Ind. Gen. et Syn. des Ois. du Genre Trochilus, p. xxii.
  • Trochilus Ourissia, auct.?

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