- Pterophanes cyanopterus
A very large (15-20 cm., 6-8 in.) hummingbird. Long (30mm) bill with slight upturn.
Male is irridescent green above; blue-green below. Wings long, blue to purple. Tail long and forked, with a bronze wash. Small white post-ocular spot.
Female has browner crown, less intense coloration in general, and rufous breast, on flanks with green speckles.
This is the largest hummingbird in its habitat (the Giant Hummingbird does not come to such humid areas). Shares slow wing beats with the Giant Hummingbird.
Three subspecies are recognized:
- P.c. cyanopterus:
- East Andes of north-central Colombia
- P.c. caeruleus:
- Central Andes to extreme south-western Andes of Colombia
- P.c. peruvianus:
Shrubby borders of high-altitude temperate forests areas.
Fast, direct flight.
Feeds at flowers either from hover or perch. Is attracted to feeders.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Ridgely, R.S., & P.J. Greenfield (2001). "The Birds of Ecuador - Field Guide". Comstock/Cornell Paperbacks. ISBN 978-0-8014-8721-7
- Heynen, I., P. F. D. Boesman, and G. M. Kirwan (2020). Great Sapphirewing (Pterophanes cyanopterus), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.gresap1.01
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2023) Great Sapphirewing. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 3 December 2023 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Great_Sapphirewing