BirdLife International (2006) Species factsheet: Amazilia castaneiventris.       Downloaded from on 21/12/2006



Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird  Amazilia castaneiventris


2006 IUCN Red List Category (as evaluated by BirdLife International - the official Red List Authority for birds for IUCN): Critically Endangered

Justification This species is Critically Endangered because it has an extremely small known range in which suitable habitat is severely fragmented and continuing to decline. However, the extent to which it tolerates degraded and secondary habitats and the current distribution are in urgent need of assessment.

Family/Sub-family Trochilidae

Species name author Gould, 1856

Taxonomic source(s) SACC (2005), Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Stotz et al. (1996)

Identification 8.4 cm. Small hummingbird with rufous underparts and tail. Shining reddish-bronze above becoming greyish-buff on rump. Glittering green throat and chest. Rufous-chestnut lower underparts and tail. Small, white leg-puffs. Black, straightish bill with pinkish base to lower mandible. Similar spp. Rufous-tailed Hummingbird A. tzacatl is very similar, but has dingy-grey lower underparts. Voice Unknown.


Population estimate

Population trend

Range estimate (breeding/resident)

Country endemic?



6 km2



Range & population Amazilia castaneiventris is found only on the slopes of the Serranía de San Lucas and the East Andes, Colombia. One specimen was taken in 1947 on the east slope of the Serranía de San Lucas in Bolívar. All other records have been in the large Sagamoso and Lebrija valley systems draining the west slope of the East Andes. There are records from two sites in Santander (in 1962 and 1963), and three in Boyacá (including the 1977 specimen from Tipacoque, and the sighting in 2000 at Villa de Leyva)4. Historically, it was locally common, but trends are difficult to assess because of the lack of observer coverage resulting (in part) from guerilla activity in its range6.


Important Bird Areas Click here to view map showing IBAs where species is recorded, including sites where the species does not meet any IBA criteria.


Ecology It inhabits humid forest at 850-2,200 m, and possibly as low as 120 m in the Serranía de San Lucas. Many records come from forest borders or bushy canyons, with the most recent sighting in a semi-arid ravine vegetated with shrubs and low trees4. The breeding season is probably August-December.


Threats The Sagamoso and Lebrija valley systems support large human populations and have long been areas of high agricultural production. Natural habitat has been severely fragmented, and generally replaced by coffee plantations, light woodland and, to a lesser extent, pastures and plantain and sugarcane plantations. Semi-arid habitats are less threatened than humid forest4, but are affected by livestock-grazing and seasonal burning for farming5. The Serranía de San Lucas had held the largest tract of intact forest in north-west South America, but a gold rush began in 1996, and most of the eastern slopes have since been settled, logged and converted for agricultural and coca production1,2,3,5. Mining and cocaine production cause stream pollution2,3,5. Immigration is continuing as road and oil pipelines extend into formerly inaccessible areas1,5.


Conservation measures underway CITES Appendix II. Apart from one successful search in 20004, none is known.


Conservation measures proposed Determine its status in the Serranía de San Lucas, at politically safe historical sites and in protected areas, such as Guanentá-Alto Río Fonce. Research its natural history and habitat preferences5. Prepare action plans for conservation of habitat within its range2,7. Protect areas of suitable habitat found to hold the species2,7. Raise awareness of conservation issues through educational campaigns2.


References Collar et al. (1992). 1. A. Cuervo in litt. (1999). 2. L. Dávalos in litt. (1999). 3. Donegan and Salaman (1999). 4. López-Lanús (2002). 5. P. G. W. Salaman in litt. (1999). 6. F. G. Stiles in litt. (1999). 7. T. Züchner in litt. (1999).


Text account compilers Phil Benstead (BirdLife International)

IUCN Red List evaluators Phil Benstead (BirdLife International), David Wege (BirdLife International)