Mexican Violetear Colibri thalassinus

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

Mexican Violetear is locally common in montane regions of northern Central America, from southern Mexico south to northern Nicaragua. Formerly Mexican was included with Lesser Violetear (Colibri cyanotus), which occurs from Costa Rica south to Argentina, as a single species ("Green Violetear", C. thalassinus), but Mexican and Lesser violetears differ significantly from one another in plumage, and now are classified as separate species. All species of violetears (Colibri), including Mexican, have a patch of elongated violet feathers on the sides of the head (hence the English name). Mexican Violetear otherwise is mostly glittering green, with a blue patch on the breast. Mexican Violetear inhabits highland forest borders, clearings and highland pastures at elevations between 1000-3000 m. Northern populations are partially migratory, with many birds dispersing farther south in the nonbreeding season, but this species also is a rare vagrant north to the United States. Mexican Violetear usually is solitary, foraging and singing alone.


© Charles Duncan

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

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.