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Giant Hummingbird - BirdForum Opus

Male of subspecies peruviana
Photo © by ejaramillo
Cuenca, Ecuador, May 2005
Patagona gigas


Female, subspecies peruviana (golden crown is pollen)
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Cordillera Blancas Huascarán National Park, Yungay, Ancash, Peru, August 2017

20-22 cm (7.9-8.7 ins)
In addition to its large size, this species is characteristic with green upperside and white rump patch.


The two subspecies differ in plumage with the northern peruviana showing cinnamon underside on the male, whitish underside with dark and cinnamon streaks in female; male southern giga has warm brown and females have greyish undersides.


Western South America: found in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.



Juvenile of subspecies gigas
Photo © by Rodrigo Reyes
Cajón del Maipo, central Chile, January 2008

Two subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • P. g. peruviana:
  • P. g. gigas:

This species has been mentioned as a potential split.


Likes open areas, mostly on dry ground. Likes Agave and other flowers with tall florescent stands.



Their diet includes Agave and Puya flowers.


Northern populations (subspecies peruviana) are residents while gigas is a migratory subspecies.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Alvaro Jaramillo. 2003. Birds of Chile. Princeton Field Guides. ISBN 0-691-11740-3
  3. Restall et al. 2006. Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved April 2014)

Recommended Citation

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