Genus Heliomaster Bonap.

A group rather than a genus next claims our attention; for two or three very well-marked divisions occur among the birds I have figured under the generic name of Heliomaster. Unlike the last, which are confined within certain limits, these birds are widely spread, some of them over Mexico and Central America, and others over Venezuela, and even further south than the latitude of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

The members of this section of the Trochilidæ are of rather large size, have long straight bills, lengthened wings, and a structure admirably adapted for aérial progression. The males are mostly clothed with fine colours on the crown and throat.

The species of the genus Heliomaster as now restricted, are at least five or six in number, and four of them are inhabitants of Central America or countries north of the Isthmus of Panama. Their short, nearly square tails, the outer feathers of which, together with their under tail-coverts, are spotted with white, render them very conspicuous.


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Featuring all 422 illustrated species from John Gould’s A Monograph of the Trochilidæ, or Family of Humming-Birds arranged by color.