Male.—Bill straight, longer than the head; wings long and pointed; tail moderate and very slightly forked; tarsi clothed; feet rather small; hind toe about equal in length to the middle one; crown and throat luminous.
Of this form only one species is known; it is a native of Guatemala and Southern Mexico, and is distinguished from its allies by the gorgeous colouring of its crown and breast. It is in the possession of a luminous crown, and other characters, that this bird differs from that immediately following.
Habitat: Mexico and GuatemalaPlate 59 Eugenes fulgens The Rivoli
“This species,” says Mr. Salvin, “is rare at Coban. The western boundary of the Llafio of Dueias is the spot where I have found it in the greatest numbers; indeed, with two exceptions, I have never met with it elsewhere. It is a most pugnacious bird. Many a time have I thought to secure a fine male, which I had perhaps been following from tree to tree, and had at last seen quietly perched on a leafless twig, when my deadly intention has been anticipated by one less so in fact, but to all appearance equally so in will. Another Humming-Bird rushes in, knocks the one I covet off his perch, and the two go, fighting and screaming, away at a pace hardly to be followed by the eye. Another time this flying fight is sustained in mid air, the belligerents mounting higher and higher till the one worsted in battle darts away, seeking shelter, followed by the victor, who never relinquishes the pursuit till the vanquished, by doubling and hiding, succeeds in making his escape. These fierce raids are not waged alone between members of the same species. Eugenes fulgens attacks with equal ferocity Amazilia dumerili, and, animated by no high-souled generosity, scruples not to tilt with the little Trochilus colubris. I know of hardly any species that shows itself more brilliantly than this when on the wing; yet it is not to the midday sun that it exhibits its splendour. When the southerly wind brings clouds and driving mist between the volcanos of Agua and Fuego, and all is as in a November fog in England, except that the yellow element is wanting, then it is that Eugenes fulgens appears in numbers; Amazilia Devillei, instead of a few scattered birds, is to be seen in every tree, and Trochilus colubris in great abundance: such animation awakes in Humming-Bird life as would hardly be credited by one who had passed the same spot an hour or two before; and the flying to and fro, the humming of wings, the momentary and prolonged contests, and the incessant battle-cries seem almost enough for a time to turn the head of a lover of these things. I have fifteen males from Duefas to one female.” —Ibis, vol. il. p. 261.
Featuring all 422 illustrated species from John Gould’s A Monograph of the Trochilidæ, or Family of Humming-Birds arranged by color.