Short-tailed emerald hummingbird

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Short-tailed emerald hummingbird
Short-tailed emerald hummingbird (Chlorostilbon poortmani) (lithograph by Henry Constantine Richter after a drawing by John Gould, 1860)

Short-tailed emerald hummingbird ( Chlorostilbon poortmani )
(lithograph by Henry Constantine Richter after a drawing by John Gould , 1860)

Class : Birds (aves)
Order : Sailor birds (Apodiformes)
Family : Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)
Genre : Emerald Hummingbirds ( Chlorostilbon )
Type : Short-tailed emerald hummingbird
Scientific name
Chlorostilbon poortmani
( Bourcier , 1843)

The short-tailed emerald hummingbird ( Chlorostilbon poortmani ) or Poortman's hummingbird is a species of bird from the hummingbird family (Trochilidae). The species occurs in Colombia and Venezuela . The IUCN assesses the population as Least Concern .


The short-tailed emerald hummingbird reaches a body length of about 6.9 cm, with the short beak being 1.5 cm long. The top of the male's head glitters green, with the rest of the top shimmering green with a slight copper tint. The underside glitters light green. The slightly forked short tail shimmers green. The upper side of the female glitters green, while the upper head has a somewhat bronze-brown color. The dark ear mark is bordered by a short white line behind the eyes. The underside is light gray, the flanks mottled green. The central control springs shimmer green. The remaining tail feathers have a slightly paler green color and a blue-black subterminal band with white spots. In the wild they can hardly be distinguished from the narrow- tailed emerald hummingbird ( Chlorostilbon stenurus ) ( Cabanis & Heine , 1860).


Usually you can see them alone and more in the strata below, at heights between 0.5 and 5 meters, foraging for food or sitting on isolated flowers at roadsides and gardens with flowers near settlements. They prefer horizontal or upturned flowers, even if they occasionally approach drooping flowers such as the Macleania genus belonging to the heather family . They belong to the trapliners, i. That is, they fly from one flower to another in rapid succession and visit them regularly. It is very likely that they steal other hummingbird species in the territory and also visit plants with low reward levels. They fly in meandering soaring, similar to crested hummingbirds ( Lophornis ), dwarf fishes ( Chaetocercus ) or star hummingbirds ( Calliphlox ). This differs from that of other emerald hummingbirds ( Chlorostilbon ).


Melbourne Armstrong Carriker observed a breeding female in the Departamento de Norte de Santander in June. They build their nest into a chalice, on which they cover the outside. According to reports, they breed from May to June.


The hummingbird prefers to move in bushy willow areas, in thickets near roadsides and other partly cleared areas. Usually these areas are not too far from humid mountain forests. Since the narrow-tailed emerald hummingbird moves at higher altitudes, they practically replace them in their natural habitat. Seasonal migration to other altitudes can occur. In the Parque Nacional de la Cueva de los Guácharos , the natural habitat is more advanced secondary vegetation or small open clearings.

Distribution area

Distribution area (green) of the short-tailed emerald hummingbird

They typically hover at altitudes of 500 to 2800 meters, with most reports referring to altitudes between 1000 and 2400 meters. They are found in Colombia on the western slopes of the east from the Departamento del Huila to the Departamento de Santander . Paul E. Gertler wrote in his publication The birds of the Cave the Oilbirds National Park, Huila, Colombia in 1972 for the first time about occurrences in the Parque Nacional de la Cueva de los Guácharos. On the eastern slopes of the east they occur in the southern and western part of the Departamento del Meta . In Venezuela, they are present on both slopes of the Andes in the state of Táchira and on the western slopes in the state of Mérida .


There are two known subspecies:

  • Chlorostilbon poortmani poortmani ( Bourcier , 1843) - The nominate form occurs in eastern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela.
  • Chlorostilbon poortmani euchloris ( Reichenbach , 1854) - The subspecies is common in central Colombia.

Etymology and history of research

Jules Bourcier described the short-tailed emerald hummingbird under the name Ornismya poortmani . He generally gave Colombia as the place of discovery. It was John Gould who introduced the new genus Chlorostilbon for the blue-tailed emerald hummingbird ( Chlorostilbon mellisugus ) ( Linnaeus , 1758) (Syn: Chlorostilbon prasina ) in the delivery of 5 of his hummingbird tablets in 1853 . Only later was the short-tailed emerald hummingbird assigned to this genus. "Chlorostilbon" is made up of the Greek words "chlōros χλωρός " for "green" and "stilbōn στίλβων " for "shining". The Greeks gave Mercury the nickname Stilbōn, which is due to the verb "stilb" for "blink". The species name »poortmani« is dedicated to the French curator of the Musée d'Histoire Naturelle de Lyon Théodore Poortmann (1804–1863). "Euchloris" comes from the Greek "eukhlōros, ευχλωρος " for "greenish, yellowish". This in turn is made up of »eu, ευ « for »fine beautiful« and »khlōros, χλωρος « for »light green«.


  • Steven Leon Hilty, John A. Gwynne, Guy Tudor : Birds of Venezuela . Princeton University Press, Princeton 2002, ISBN 0-691-09250-8 ( online [accessed January 28, 2015]).
  • Steven Leon Hilty, William Leroy Brown: A guide to the birds of Colombia . Princeton University Press, Princeton 1986, ISBN 978-0-691-08372-8 ( online [accessed January 28, 2015]).
  • James A. Jobling: Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names . Christopher Helm, London 2010, ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4 .
  • Jules Bourcier: Description of the deux nouvelles espèces d'Oiseaux-mouches de Colombie . In: Revue Zoologique par La Société Cuvierienne . tape 6 , 1843, pp. 2 ( online [accessed January 28, 2015]).
  • Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig Reichenbach: Enumeration of the hummingbirds or trochilids in their true natural relationship, including the key to their systematics . In: Journal of Ornithology . tape 2 (separate issue), 1854, p. 1-24 ( online [accessed January 28, 2015]).
  • John Gould: A monograph of the Trochilidæ, or family of humming-birds . tape 5 , delivery 5. Taylor and Francis, London 1853 ( online [accessed January 28, 2015]).
  • Frederick Herschel Waterhouse: The dates of publication of some of the zoological works of the late John Gould, FRS RH Porter, London 1885 ( online [accessed January 28, 2015]).

Web links

Commons : Short-tailed Emerald Hummingbird  - Collection of images, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Steven Leon Hilty u. a. (1986), p. 266.
  2. a b c Steven Leon Hilty u. a. (2002), p. 411.
  3. a b Steven Leon Hilty u. a. (2002), p. 412.
  4. ^ IOC World Bird List Hummingbirds
  5. a b c Jules Bourcier, p. 2.
  6. ^ Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig Reichenbach, p. 23.
  7. ^ John Gould, plate 355 plus text, volume 5. This corresponds to delivery 5 from 1853.
  8. Frederick Herschel Waterhouse, p. 47. The year of publication, delivery with the plates in A monograph of the Trochilidæ , is shown here.
  9. James A. Jobling, p. 103.
  10. James A. Jobling, p. 151.