• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Long-tailed Sylph - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 23:45, 16 June 2017 by Deliatodd-18346 (talk | contribs) (Flight picture added. References updated)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Photo by edenwatcher
Tapichalaca, Ecuador, March 2006
Aglaiocercus kingii


Photo by firecrest15
Guango Lodge, East Andes, Ecuador, April 2015

Male: tail up to 4.5 inches, = 114 mm or more than half the length (much shorter in female). Male is mostly green with bluish highlights on throat, darker green in face and paler on crown, with white leggings, and the long outer tail feathers blue (rest of tail feathers shorter and greentipped, but normally held closed so does not usually give impression of scissor-tail).
Female: underparts cinnamon to orange, with white leggings, white chin and throat with green spots in rows, and green wash to flanks and undertail area. Upperside mostly green with blue fore-crown and front and blue tail

Similar species

Female from female Violet-tailed Sylph by green top and rear crown with blue limited to front part of crown, while entire crown is blue in Violet-tailed.


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



Possibly a young male?
Photo by Aralcal
Aralcal, Manizales, Colombia, June 2010

Six subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • A.k. margarethae:
  • Mountains of north-central and coastal Venezuela
  • A.k. caudatus:
  • A.k. emmae:
  • A.k. kingi:
  • A.k. mocoa:
  • A.k. smaragdinus:


Cloud Forest, forest borders, coffee forest, gardens, and other semi-open areas with flowering trees or bushes; observed at 2100m.


Male, Subspecies mocoa
Photo by Stanley Jones
Amazonas, Abra Patricia Reserve, Owlet Lodge, Peru, January 2017


Their diet consists of nectar and insects. They readily visit feeders.

May have a regular route for visiting spread out flowers (trap-lining) or may defend an area with many flowers. Are known to pierce holes at bottom of the flower of corolla.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Restall et al. 2006. Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156
  4. BF Member observations
  5. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2015)

Recommended Citation

External Links