EIGHT CRITICALLY ENDAGERED HUMMINGBIRDS

Eight species of hummingbirds are on the "Critically Endangered" list compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Critically Endangered means means there is a 50% chance these birds will be extinct in the next ten years.  One may already be extinct.

COLORFUL PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis mirabilis)

This bird is found in a very small area in Columbia's northern Andes mountains.  It is a very "colorful" bird with a black bill and pink feet, green gorget, blue belly and red and gold under the tail.  A reserve has been created to help this species survival.  

Photo by ProAves Columbia

GORGETED PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis isabellae)

This bird is found in the Choco region of southwestern Columbia.  It has a brilliant green gorget, blue feathers and puffs of white feathers on the legs.  It is endangered due to the cocaine trade, as much of their habitat had been razed and converted to coca farming.  

SAPPHIRE-BELLIED (Lepidopyga lilliae)

Less than 250 adults remain on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, mostly in Isla de Salamanca National Park or Ciénega Grande de Santa Marta.  The bill is black and red tipped with shiny green plumage above and blue below.  It has a blue-black forked tail.

Photo by Alejandro Bayer Tamayo (Wikimedia commons)

DUSKY STARFRONTLET (Coeligena orina)

This bird was thought to be extinct but was rediscovered in 2004 in the Colibri del Sol Bird Reserve.  The bird is black with a metallic green sheen.

Photo by Gina Nichol (used with permission)

TURQUOISE-THROATED PUFFLEG or Godin's Puffleg (Eriocnemis godini)

There have been no confirmed sightings since the 19th century.  If any remain, the population is tiny.  This hummingbird is mostly golden-green with bluish-green rump, faint blue throat and violet undertail coverts.  It has a blue-black forked tail. The bird was native to Ecuador and Columbia.

Print of the Eriocnemis godini from A Monograph of the Trochilidae, or family of humming-birds, 6 volumes, large folio (1849-87)d by J. Gould.

SHORT-CRESTED COQUETTE (Lophornis brachylophus)

This bird is endemic to Mexico and remains in a tiny area of the Sierra Madre del Sur.  It's habitat is unprotected and being cleared for agriculture.

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BLACK-BREASTED PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis nigrivestis)

This bird is found only on the Northwestern slopes of the Pichincha volcano in Ecuador.  It prefers high altitude and doesn't come lower than 9,000 feet.  They have white leg puffs and purple gorgets.  The male is dark and the female is bronzy green with a blueish rump.

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JUAN FERNANDEZ FIRECROWN (Sephanoides fernandensis)

This bird is endemic to the Isla Robinson Crusoe, an island belonging to Chile.  It is bright orange with a reddish-yellow crown and dusky flight feathers.  The male almost completely red and the female is green and white with a blue patch on her crown.  The male and female are so dissimilar that they were thought to be separate species.  They are threatened by the expansion of an invasive plant species, cats and competition with the other hummingbird found on the island.

Photo by Héctor Gutiérrez Guzmán (Wikimedia Commons)

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