Genus Oreotrochilus Gould

It is only at a comparatively recent date that we became acquainted with the birds for which I proposed the term Oreotrochilus. D’Orbigny introduced to us the O. Estellæ and O. Adele; while in 1846 the fine O. Chimborazo was brought to light through the researches of M. Bourcier; in 1849 the same gentleman made us aware of the existence of the little less beautiful O. Pichincha, and I, on my own part, had the pleasure of making known the O. melanogaster and O. leucopleurus. All these birds inhabit loftier elevations than any other genus of Humming-Birds; for they love to dwell in regions just beneath the line where the melting snows and the warmth of the sun call forth an alpine flora and a peculiar character of insect life; and I question if any other insessorial birds seek their food at so great an elevation as the O. Chimborazo and O. Pichincha. As far as our present knowledge extends, no species has been found to the northward of Ecuador, while to the south they range along the high lands of Peru and Bolivia.

Generic characters.

Male.Bill longer than the head, almost cylindrical, and slightly incurved; wings rather long and powerful; tail large, the feathers narrow and rigid; tarsi clothed; feet strong; hind toe and nail about the same length as the middle toe and nail; throat luminous.

Female. Unadorned.

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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.