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Amethyst-throated Sunangel - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Stanley Jones
Male of subspecies laticlavius
Amazonas, Abra Patricia Reserve, Owlet Lodge, Peru, 4 January 2017
Heliangelus amethysticollis


10 cm (4 in).
Dark green above and on crown and sides of head, bold white spot behind the eye, glittering pinkish-purple throat limited below by white half-moon, breast and belly dark green mixed with buff. Females resemble males but are duller and have rufous to buff on the throat.


Female of subspecies decolor
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Northeast end of Carpish Tunnel, Hunuco, Peru, 24 August 2017

Females of some subspecies such as laticlavius may have a gorget that is similar to the male by smaller. This makes identification of a young male very difficult.


South America. Mostly on the east side of the Andes in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.



Sub-adult Male or Female of subspecies laticlavius
Photo © by edenwatcher
Tapichalaca, Ecuador, March 2006

Four subspecies are recognized[1].

  • H. a. laticlavius:
  • H. a. decolor:
  • East slope of Andes of central Peru (from Amazonas south of the Marañón River to Junín)
  • H. a. apurimacensis
  • South central Peru (Apurímac Valley and upper Urubamba Valley, Ayacucho and Cusco)
  • H. a. amethysticollis:
  • Andes of southern Peru (eastern Cusco to Puno) and of northwestern Bolivia (La Paz to Cochabamba)

Longuemare's Sunangel and Merida Sunangel were formerly included in this species.


Primarily cloud forest but also other forest types and bushy areas in humid mountains.


Diet includes nectar and insects.


Rapid thrill with each note spanning a large frequency band.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2022. IOC World Bird List (v 12.2) DRAFT. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.12.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Avibase
  4. SACC proposal to recognize Longuemare's Sunangel (did not pass)
  5. Paper describing H. a. apurimacensis
  6. del Hoyo, J., I. Heynen, N. Collar, P. F. D. Boesman, G. M. Kirwan, and C. J. Sharpe (2022). Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus amethysticollis), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (N. D. Sly, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.amtsun3.01
  7. Donegan, T., A. Quevedo, J.C. Verhelst, O. Cortés-Herrera, T. Ellery, and P. Salaman. 2015. Revision of the status of bird species occurring in Colombia, with discussion of BirdLife International’s new taxonomy. Conservación Colombiana 23: 3-48.

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.