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Purple-throated Mountain-gem Lampornis calolaemus

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Trochilidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Jacob Peters

Diet and Foraging


Purple-throated Mountain-gems are primarily nectar feeders and forage indiscriminately among short-flowered plants (Feinsinger et al. 1986, Finsinger et al. 1987, Feinsinger et al. 1988, Feinsinger et al. 1991, Feinsinger and Tiebout 1991), and are known to carry pollen of as many as 15 plant species at one time (Borgella et al. 2001). They have been observed feeding on flowers of a great variety of colors (e.g., pink, orange, yellow, white and green), and the corollas of these flowers are typically short (less than 20 mm), straight and narrow (Snow 1977). This species is not limited to nectar alone. Males also sally for flying insects from their territorial perches. Females search among dense foliage for insects, beating their wings against foliage in flight and presumably flushing insects for consumption (Snow 1977).

Foraging Behavior

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Recommended Citation

Peters, J. (2011). Purple-throated Mountain-gem (Lampornis calolaemus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.