Zafiro Colidorado/Golden-tailed Sapphire/Chrysuronia oenone

Foto: Nick Athanas

Nombre en español: Zafiro Colidorado

Nombre en inglés: Golden-tailed Sapphire

Nombre científico: Chrysuronia oenone

Familia: Trochilidae

Canto: Peter Boesman

El zafiro colidorado (Chrysuronia oenone) también denominado colibrí cola de oro es una especie de ave en la familia Trochilidae

Foto: Nick Athanas

Distribución y hábitat

Se lo encuentra en Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Trinidad y Tobago, y Venezuela.

Sus hábitats naturales son los bosques bajos húmedos subtropicales o tropicales, los bosques montanos húmedos y los bosques muy degradados.

Golden-tailed sapphire

The golden-tailed sapphire (Chrysuronia oenone) is a species of hummingbird in the family Trochilidae. It is found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.Wildsumaco Lodge – EcuadorWildsumaco Lodge – Ecuador


Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, and heavily degraded former forest.

The golden-rufous tail of the Golden-tailed Sapphire helps indentify both sexes since they tend to appear dark. These sapphires are found around humid forest edges, second growth, light woodlands, plantations, gardens, and partially open areas with scattered trees. During the dry season, individuals congregate at large flowering trees and try to defend small floral territories. In less dry periods, birds often forage singly at flowers at various levels. The early rainy season also coincides with when males sing the most. Large and sudden seasonal migrations of these sapphires have been noted in Venezuela.

Foto: Nick Athanas


9·5–10 cm; male 4·7–6·3 g, female 4·3–5·3 g. Maxilla black, mandible red with black tip. Male has entire head and throat violet-blue, breast  glittering green passing to bronzy green on belly, undertail-coverts bronze edged with whitish; back  bright green, shading through bronze-green to brilliant coppery uppertail-coverts and copper-bronze tail  . Female has crown blue, shading to green on back and copper-bronze on uppertail-coverts and tail; below  mostly whitish, heavily flecked with blue-green on sides of throat and neck, and green on sides and across chest, bronze-green on flanks; undertail-coverts with bronzy centres. Juvenile male has crown dull green, throat dusky grey with dull buffy feather fringes and chest duller green; the first generation of blue feathers on head and throat are more blue, less violet than in adult male; juvenile female has green spotting below duller and more bronzy, less bluish than in adults. In race josephinae  , male has throat mostly green, rump  green contrasting more with coppery tail-coverts  ; alleni has no blue on throat and little or none on malar area, with rump more or less coppery in both sexes.

Foto: Steve Sanchez

Systematics History

Proposed type locality of Trinidad seems unlikely, as there are apparently no definite records with specific localities, and the species has not been mentioned in any work on Trinidad birds since 1900. Race josephinae relatively distinctive, owing to male’s green not blue throat (score 3), and less rich emerald-green mantle to rump (1); but no other characters distinguishing it are known; more study needed. Race alleni and proposed race peruviana may not be adequately separable from josephinae. Several other races proposed: longirostris from E Colombia differs from nominate only in average bill length; azurea, supposedly from W Ecuador but no definite records thence (in fact, probably from E Ecuador), has characters of a subadult male of oenone; and intermedia of upper Amazonia probably of hybrid origin. Described form Thalurania lerchi, known from Bogotá trade skins, is apparently a hybrid between present species and Thalurania furcata. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Foto: Jorge Muñoz


Chrysuronia oenone oenone

Sierra de Perijá, and N and W Venezuela S through EC Colombia to E Ecuador, extreme NE Peru (N Amazonas, NW Loreto) and adjacent extreme W Brazil.

Chrysuronia oenone josephinae

most of E Peru.

Chrysuronia oenone alleni

N Bolivia.



Humid forest, especially at gaps and along edges, old second growth, gallery forest, semi-open areas like shaded cacao and coffee plantations, gardens and deciduous forest (Venezuela); mainly in foothills and adjacent lowlands, from sea-level to 1500 m (Colombia & Venezuela).


Little information available; movements across Portachuelo Pass reported at Rancho Grande, Venezuela; presumably moves locally in response to shifts in flowering.

Diet and Foraging

Visits mostly flowering trees (ErythrinaInga) and shrubs (AphelandraPalicourea) for nectar  ; many may gather in quarrelsome assemblages at flowering trees, female more often trap-lines dispersed flowers in forest; male occasionally defends territories at flowers  when more aggressive species like Thalurania furcata are absent; flycatches from perches at forest edge or gaps, and gleans arthropods from foliage.

Foto: Jorge Muñoz

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Quite vocal. Song rather variable, a repeated rhythmic phrase, often starting with a burry note, followed by several very squeaky or scratchy notes, and ending with repeated chips. Calls include a drawn-out metallic trill and shorter chipping notes.


Birds in breeding condition Jun–Nov in E Colombia, but season stated to be Jan–Apr in W Brazil. During breeding season males usually in leks of 5–10, occasionally solitary. Clutch size two eggs, size 14–14·3 mm × 9 mm, mass 0·47 g; incubation period stated to be 14 days and fledging period 28 days. No further information.

Conservation Status

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Fairly common, at least locally, in foothill areas of Colombia and Venezuela, but relatively rare in Amazonian lowlands far from the Andes. In Colombia, known to use disturbed and fragmented forests.

Fuentes: Wikipedia/eBird/xeno-canto/Birds of the world

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