The Tufted Coquette occurs in northeastern South America from Venezuela east across the Guianas to northeastern Brazil. The range includes Trinidad, but not Tobago (French 1973, Feinsinger et al. 1985). Primarily resident, but Hilty (2003) suggests that there may be some movement between Trinidad and Venezuela.
Distribution outside the Americas
Endemic to the Americas.
This species is found in cultivated, open areas (gardens) and edges of humid forests up to 950 m. They are also found in bush savanna and show an affinity for pigeon pea cultivation (ffrench 1973, Fonaroff 1974). Sighting locations suggest they are most likely to be found above elevations of 500 m (Ridgely et al. 2004).
Freymann and Schuchmann (2004) documented that many that fewer specimens of Lophornis have been collected since 1960 than in earlier decades. The causes of this decline in collected specimens is not clear; it may result in part from a decling population of coquettes, although perhaps more important factors are a reduced level of specimen collecting (across all species) in recent years, coupled with changes in collecting techniques. In recent years the primary methodology of capture has shifted from collecting with the shotgun to the use of mist nets; coquettes are so small that they may bounce off the mist nets and elude capture (Freymann and Schuchmann 2004).
Nepstad, L. (2011). Tufted Coquette (Lophornis ornatus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.tufcoq1.01