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Crowned Woodnymph - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Purple-crowned or Blue-crowned woodnymph

Violet-crowned Woodnymph
Photo © by Jim Crosswell
Costa Rica
Thalurania colombica

Includes Violet-crowned Woodnymph; Green-crowned Woodnymph; Emerald-bellied Woodnymph


Photo © by Birdingcraft
Rara Avis, Costa Rica

Male 10.2 cm

  • Violet or green crown, upper back, shoulders and belly
  • Iridescent green throat and breast
  • Green lower back
  • Deeply forked blue-black tail

Female - 8-9 cm

  • Bright green upperparts
  • Duller green below
  • Grey throat and breast
  • Tail
  • Rounded
  • Green at the top
  • Blue-black lower half
  • White corners

Young males:

  • Lack violet colouring and iridescence
  • Bronze underparts

Immature females: buff fringes to nape, face and rump feathers


Male Green-crowned Woodnymph
Photo © by megan perkins
Maquipicuna Lodge, Ecuador, February 2005

Violet-crowned from Belize to Central Panama1, and in three separate populations in central, and north-east Colombia, and western Venezuela2. The form Green-crowned Woodnymph occupies eastern Panama and western Colombia and thereby effectively separate Violet-crowned Woodnymph in estern and western populations.


Male Emerald-bellied Woodnymph (subspecies hypochlora)
Photo © by NJLarsen
Buenaventura, El Oro, Ecuador, June 2019

This taxon was first split into three species, Mexican Woodnymph, Violet-crowned Woodnymph and Green-crowned Woodnymph. The last two were recently relumped.


Female, Subspecies colombica
Photo © by NJ Larsen
Mountain House, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, 19 August 2023

There are eight subspecies[1]:

  • T. c. townsendi:
  • T. c. venusta:
  • T. c. colombica:
  • T. c. rostrifera:
  • North-western Venezuela (south-western Táchira)
  • T. c. fannyi:
  • T. c. subtropicalis:
  • West-central Colombia (Cauca Valley and adjacent West and Central Andes)
  • T. c. verticeps:
  • T. c. hypochlora (Emerald-bellied Woodnymph)
  • Pacific lowlands of Ecuador to extreme n Peru


Wet lowlands and foothills, observed up to heights around 1800 m.



The female builds the cup shaped nest from plant fibres. The clutch consists of 2 white eggs which is incubated by the female for 15-19 days; the young fledge after a further 20-26 days.


The diet includes nectar, small insects and spiders.


Call: fast, high-pitched kip.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Ridgely & Gwynne 1989. Birds of Panama. Princeton Paperbacks. ISBN 0691025126
  3. Restall et al. 2006. Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156
  4. Birdforum thread discussing taxonomy of Woodnymphs
  5. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

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