Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Purple-throated Mountain-gem Lampornis calolaemus

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

The Purple-throated Mountain-gem Lampornis calolaemus is a medium-sized species of hummingbird (Trochilidae), with a straight, dark bill. It occurs in the montane cloud forests of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Both males and females of this species are characterized by stunning iridescent green contour feathers, which cover most of their bodies, and white post-ocolar stripes. This species is sexually dimporphic in plumage. The males are primarily green, with a purple gorget. The upperparts of the female are green, but the underparts are pale rufous, and the female lacks a gorget. Purple-throated Mountain-gems are territorial nectarivores, supplementing their diets with occasional insect prey. This species breeds primarily during the rainy season, from October to April, and nests in the understory. Males make their presence known with repeated short bursts of insect-like trills.


© David L. Ross, Jr.

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

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.