Mexican Violetear Colibri thalassinus

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Trochilidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Mo Hobbs


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Mexican Violetear
eBird range map for Mexican Violetear

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

The Green Violetear is distributed from central and southern Mexico south to northwestern Argentina. The species is resident in most of its range. At the northern portion of the range, north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico, it is partially migratory: some males, and most females and juveniles, move south after breeding (roughly from November to July) (Howell and Webb 1995). The destination of these birds is not known with certainty, but presumably is in northern Central America (Howell and Webb 1995). Also a rare vagrant to Baja California and the Yucatan Peninsula (Howell and Webb 1995), and to the United States.

The elevational range in Mexico is 1000-3000 m (Howell and Webb 1995). In Costa Rica, it primarily occurs at 1450-3000 m, but may descend to 1000 m after breeding (Stiles and Skutch 1989). In the Andean countries, the elevational distribution is 900-3000 m in Venezuela (Hilty 2003); mainly 1400-2200 m in Colombia, but down to 600 m on the east slope of the eastern Andes (Hilty and Brown 1986); mainly 1200-2300 m in Ecuador (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001); and in Peru, mostly at 1300-2800 m, but locally down to 1000 m or up to 3300 m (Schulenberg et al. 2007).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


Montane forest borders, pine-oak forests, clearings and pastures with trees.

Historical changes

None reported.

Fossil history

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Hobbs, M. (2011). Mexican Violetear (Colibri thalassinus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.