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Violet-fronted Brilliant - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Stanley Jones
Fundo Alto Nieva, San Martín, Peru, January 2017
Heliodoxa leadbeateri


11–13 cm (4¼-5 in)
Mostly green with dark, forked tail.
Male has blue or violet crown, and in nominate subspecies orange on side of head, golden reflections on back of neck and on tail coverts, lacking in other, brown central tail becoming blue in others.
Female is smaller and has underside pale washed with green spots.


Photo © by Stanley Jones
Rio Madre de Dios Region, Peru, September, 2009

South America: found in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.



Four subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • H. l. leadbeateri:
  • Coastal mountains of northern Venezuela (Falcón to Carabobo and Miranda)
  • H. l. parvula:
  • H. l. sagitta:
  • H. l. otero
  • Andes of central Peru to north-western Bolivia


Juvenile, subspecies otero
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Cock of the Rock Lodge, Challabamba, Parque Nacional del Manu, Cusco Department, Peru, September 2018

Cloud forest, moist to wet forests and second growth, shade coffee plantations, at not too high elevations.



Usually feeds below canopy to undergrowth, usually inside forests. Not in flocks.

Their main diet consists of nectar taken from flowers at about 1-10 m in height.


There is little information available. The breeding season runs from January to May. The clutch of 2 eggs is incubated by the female.


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. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Restall et al. 2006. Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156
  3. Erize et al. 2006 Birds of South America, non-passerines. Princeton Illustrated Checklists, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. ISBN 0-691-12688-7
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved January 2017)

Recommended Citation

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