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Dusky Starfrontlet

From Opus

Alternative names: Glittering Starfrontlet

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


[edit] Identification

14cm (5½ in) 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

South America: found in Páramo Frontino, Farallones del Citará, and a couple of other high peak areas of Western Andes in north-west Colombia. This species is considered endangered. The original range estimate was about 25 km2, since first increased 40 fold and then again decreased to about 50 km2.

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, timberline, paramo, and adjacent tall humid forest on the highest peaks of Western Andes; at heights around 3100 m to 3500 m asl.

[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 consists of insects and nectar. They prefer to feed just below the paramo at the treeline and they love flowers of Ericaceae plants.

[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, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from
  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
  5. Another paper: Setting Practical Conservation Priorities for Birds in the Western Andes of Colombia
  6. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved April 2016)

[edit] External Links


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