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Dusky Starfrontlet

From Opus

Photo by COLOMBIA BirdingUrrao, W Andes, Colombia, January 2010
Photo by COLOMBIA Birding
Urrao, W Andes, Colombia, January 2010
Coeligena orina


[edit] Identification

14cm with black bill and black legs and feet but pale (white to pinkish) soles

  • Mostly green that is very dark at the head and mantle, gradually becoming less dark further back on both upperside and underside
  • Golden-green rump and uppertail coverts
  • Metallic blue spot on lower central throat
  • Glittering green frontlet (with blue to golden reflexes depending on angle)
FemalePhoto by COLOMBIA BirdingUrrao, W Andes, Colombia, November 2010
Photo by COLOMBIA Birding
Urrao, W Andes, Colombia, November 2010


  • Also mostly green but with less black in the forward end of the bird
  • Have less strong (but still present) golden reflexes in the uppertail and vent areas
  • Throat and malar areas cinnamon-buff, separated by a line of green disks in the submalar
  • Tail like in male but with a slight buffy corner.

Immature male

  • Mostly like adult male but with less blackish in the plumage
  • No frontlet
  • Smaller throat patch

[edit] Similar Species

Golden-bellied Starfrontlet has bronze to cinnamon on uppertail coverts and rump, not golden-green like here

[edit] Distribution

Páramo Frontino, Farallones del Citará, north-west Colombia. It is not believed to overlap in distribution with other members of the genus Coeligena.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

[edit] Habitat

Elfin forest, paramo, and adjacent higher forest on the highest peaks of Western Andes.

[edit] Behaviour

Normally they are not seen in pairs when in the field but seem to be in couples while at or near feeders.

[edit] Diet

The diet includes insects and nectar. They prefer to feed just below the paramo at the treeline and they love Ericaceae plants flowers.

[edit] Breeding

Males, and sometimes male and female, can engage in bill to bill encounters.

[edit] Vocalisation

They are generally silent.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at
  2. BirdLife International
  3. KRABBE, N. ET AL. 2005. Rediscovery of the Dusky Starfrontlet Coeligena orina, with a description of the adult plumages and a reassessment of its taxonomic status. OrnitologĂ­a Colombiana 3: 28-35 (link)
  4. Observations by BF Member COLOMBIA Birding

[edit] External Links


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

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