Threnetes cirvinicauda

Fawn-tailed Barbed-throat

Province of Quijos in Ecuador

How constantly are we receiving novelties from the richly wooded districts bordering the River Napo, and how many fine birds appear to inhabit this luxuriant region !—a zone, as it were, intermediate between the elevated portions of the great Andean ranges and the flat lands of the eastern parts of South America.

The present highly interesting bird is from this district. Of the three examples contained in my collection, two are tolerably perfect, the third is minus the tail; still they afford me sufficient materials to enable me to give a correct delineation of the species.

Every ornithologist who has paid attention to the Trochilidæ will see that this new bird is very closely allied to the Threnetes leucurus, but that it differs in its much larger size, in the colouring of the tail, and in the rich hue of its throat-mark.

Head, all the upper surface, upper wing-coverts, two central tail-feathers, sides of the neck, breast, and flanks shining olive-green; wings purplish brown; lateral tail-feathers deep fawn-colour, stained on the apical half of the outer margin and the tip of the outer feather with dark brown; a crescent of the same, but of a much paler hue, at the tip of the next; a still fainter mark of the same colour near the tip of the external web of the third; and a nearly obsolete mark of a similar tint, in the same situation, on the fourth; lores and ear-coverts brown; on the chin and throat a lengthened triangular mark of black, bounded on either side by a narrow line of greyish white, and below by a broad band of deep sandy-buff crossing the throat; centre of the abdomen greyish buff; under tail-coverts olive, narrowly edged with greyish buff; bill black, with the cutting edge of the upper mandible and the basal three-fourths of the under one pearly white; feet yellow.

The figures are of the size of life. The plant is the Echites Franciscea, var. floribus sulphureis.


  • Threnetes cervinicauda, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part xxii. p. 109.

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