Bogota Sunangel Heliangelus zusii

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Trochilidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Thomas S. Schulenberg
Photos needed

Although many Neotropical birds are poorly known, Bogota Sunangel is one of the most mysterious of all. This species is known to science from only a single specimen, of a male. This specimen surfaced in Colombia early in the 20th century, but there is no documentation of where it was collected, or in what habitat. It seems quite distinctive: a dark hummingbird with a forked tail, green throat and forecrown, and a short straight bill. Nonetheless, this specimen long was thought to represent a hybrid between two known species, but late in the 20th century it was described as a distinct species. Initially some authorities continued to reject Bogota Sunangel, but DNA analysis confirms that, indeed, it is a valid species. Although Bogota Sunangel may well be extinct, in the absence of any reports of it in life, the uncertainties regarding its geographic range and habitat leave open the possibility that a small population may yet survive.

Audio needed
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. (2015). Bogota Sunangel (Heliangelus zusii), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.