Although considered a Peruvian endemic, further research is needed to verify whether or not this metaltail occurs in Bolivia and/or northern Chile. Considered fairly common, especially along the western slope of the Andes south to Arequipa, but is locally threatened by deforestation of Polylepis forests and degradation of páramo and jalca grasslands. Habitat includes montane scrub and open woodlands. They are frequently seen out in the open and flick their tails and wings when perched. Larger and darker than other metaltails, the Black Metaltail is blackish with a narrow, glittering, teal gorget. The female also boasts a colorful gorget, but hers is less extensive in coverage. The white spot behind the eye is usually observable and the tail is coppery-red in color. When foraging, their flight pattern recalls that of a butterfly’s.