Thalurania Columbica

Columbian Wood-Nymph

The hilly parts of New Granada

However highly M. Warszewicz may have extolled the loveliness of the Thalurania venusta, it scarcely exceeds that of the bird here represented, which must also be regarded as a species of great beauty and elegance.

As its name implies, its native country is Columbia, and the chief mart whence specimens are sent to Europe is that great emporium of bird-skins, Santa Fé de Bogota. It differs from all the other known species in its small neat blue cap, and the almost total absence of blue on the back, this colour being more confined to the shoulders; I observe, too, that the green colouring of the throat descends farther down the chest than in T. furcatus, and that this mark, moreover, assumes a more rounded form on its lower margin; the bird is also somewhat larger in size.

The great number of specimens that are sent to Europe—principally to France—testify that the bird is very abundant in the districts visited by the Indian collector. Fortunately, this bird has received only a single specific appellation; but it has been placed in three distinct genera.

The male has the crown of the head, a band across the centre of the back, the lesser wing-coverts, the under wing-coverts, the abdomen, flanks and under tail-coverts of a lovely blue; back of the head and neck, back and greater wing-coverts black in some lights, deep green in others; throat and breast shining grassgreen; wings purplish brown; upper tail-coverts and tail black, glossed with steel-blue.

The female is golden green above, grey beneath; tail green at the base, the apical portion steel-blue, all but the two middle feathers tipped with greyish white.

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Gualtheria bracteata.


  • Ormsmya Colombica, Bourc. et Muls. Rey. Zool. 1843, p. 2.—Ib. Ann. de la Soe. Sci. de Lyon, 1843, pl. 6.
  • Polytmus Columbicus, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 108, Polytmus, sp. 60.
  • Thalurana Columbiana, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part xx. p. 8.
  • Thalurana colombica, Bonap. Rey. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 254.
  • Thalurana columbica, Reichenb. Aufz. der Col., p. 7.

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