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Lophornis helenae

Black-crested Coquette

  • Order: Apodiformes
  • Family: Trochilidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Arizmendi, M. C., C. Rodríguez-Flores, C. Soberanes-González, Guy M. Kirwan, and Thomas S. Schulenberg

Lophornis helenae

Braulio Carrillo, Costa Rica; 13 December 2012 © Chris Jimenez

Found from southeastern Mexico to eastern Costa Rica, Black-crested is the only species of coquette to inhabit the Atlantic slope of Middle America. There is also a small population of this species on the Pacific slope in the northern portion of its range. Male Black-crested Coquettes are characterized by their green throat and crown, the latter topped by a wispy black crest; the bronzy breast band; and elongated black-and-buff cheek feathers. Like all coquettes, the females are decidedly less 'fancy-looking' creatures, lacking the green throat, and the cheek and crest adornments. Both sexes have the narrow white rump band that is typical of the genus. Black-crested Coquette inhabits semiopen forested areas, second growth, and plantations, and usually forages in the canopy by trap-lining at flowers or catching arthropods. The altitudinal range of Black-crested Coquette extends from the lowlands to at least 1200 m, and the species also apparently makes irregular seasonal migrations.

Recommended Citation

Arizmendi, M. C., C. Rodríguez-Flores, C. Soberanes-González, Guy M. Kirwan, and Thomas S. Schulenberg. 2013. Black-crested Coquette (Lophornis helenae), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:---
  • Primary Habitat:Montane evergreen forest
  • Foraging Strata:Understory/Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:---
  • Diet:Nectar
  • Sociality:Solitary
  • Mating System:
  • Nest Form:Cup
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern