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Oreotrochilus estella

Andean Hillstar

  • Order: Apodiformes
  • Family: Trochilidae
  • Polytypic 3 Subspecies

Authors: Johnson, Andy

Oreotrochilus estella

Ancash, Peru; 3 November 2011 © Christopher L. Wood

Andean Hillstar ranges from southern Ecuador to northwest Argentina, where it inhabits puna grassland and rocky slopes between 2400 and 5000 m. The male is largely greenish brown above with a bright emerald gorget, and white underparts with a dark belly stripe. The undertail is largely white. Females are similar above, but have a gray-spotted throat and are otherwise drab below. These hillstars are relatively unusual among hummingbirds in taking nectar while perched, although they also hunt insects in flight. The species is also different from many other Trochilidae in that females nest semi-colonially in areas where the habitat is especially suitable.

Recommended Citation

Johnson, Andy. 2012. Andean Hillstar (Oreotrochilus estella), 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, but has been revised by Neotropical Birds Online.

The data for the Infonatura 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:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Puna grassland
  • Foraging Strata:Terrestrial/Understory
  • Foraging Behavior:---
  • Diet:Nectar
  • Sociality:Solitary
  • Mating System:---
  • Nest Form:Cup
  • Clutch: 2 -
  • IUCN Status:Unknown