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Green Hermit - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Jim Crosswell
Finca Oro, Costa Rica, February 2008
Phaethornis guy


A large Hermit at 6.5 inches with dark green upperparts and most of underparts gray.

One description mentions a rufous-buff spot on the abdomen. Central throat, moustacial stripe and a stripe starting behind the eye and slanted downwards are all rufous, rest of head mostly dark. Tail is bluish black, darkest near tip, except for the central tail feathers which are elongated, narrowed, and tipped white.

Female with 2 buff stripes
Photo by olivewarbler
east slope of the West Andes, Colombia

Bill is long (1.5 inches) and down-curved, black above and red below.

Descriptions differ in whether there is a difference between sexes, with the French guide to Trinidad stating that the female has two buff stripes, above and below eye, and longer tail.


Four subspecies share the range from Costa Rica south to Colombia and Peru and east to Venezuela and Trinidad.



Female with 1 buff stripe, subspecies coruscus
Photo by Stanley Jones
Altos del Maria north of El Valle de Antón, Coclé Province, Panama, March 2013

There are 4 subspecies[1]:

  • P. g. coruscus:
  • P. g. emiliae:
  • Major river valleys of west-central Colombia
  • P. g. apicalis:
  • Eastern slope of Andes (northern Colombia to north-western Venezuela and eastern Peru)
  • P. g. guy:


Forests, second growth and edges, mostly in moist areas with increased occurrance near streams. Observed at heights around 1700m.



Feeds low, mostly in dense understory and Heliconia thickets and mostly on nectar with some insects thrown in. In Venezuela below 1200 meters elevation.


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved October 2014)

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