Wire-crested Thorntail (Discosura popelairii)

Order: Apodiformes | Family: Trochilidae | IUCN Status: Least Concern

Age: Adult | Sex: Males | Loc. SE Peru | SE Ecuador

Age: Sub-Adult | Sex: Male | Loc. Southeast Peru

Age: Adult | Sex: Female | Loc. SE Peru | SE Ecuador

Age: Adult | Sex: Female & Male | Loc. Southeast Peru

Identification & Behavior: ~11.5 cm (4.5 in) (male), 7 cm (3 in) (female). The male Wire-crested Thorntail is coppery green above with a white band across the rump. The iridescent green forehead projects to a tall wire-like crest. The gorget is iridescent green and broad. The tail is long, deeply forked, with the outer tail feathers ending in wire-like tips. The female has a black belly, white malar streaks, and a short and square tail with white tips. The female is similar to the female Black-bellied Thorntail but is distinguished by having a solid black breast and throat, coppery  green back, a square two-toned tail, and by ranging at higher elevations.

Status: The Wire-crested Thorntail is uncommon to rare in the canopy of montane forest on the east slope of the Andes at elevations ranging between 500-1500 m. It also occurs in Co, Ec, and Bo.

Name in Spanish: Cola-Cerda Crestado.

Sub-species: Wire-crested Thorntail (Discosura popelairii), Du Bus de Gisignies, 1846.

Meaning of Name: Discosura: Gr. diskos= drive, plate; and oura= tail. popelairii: In honor of Jean Baptiste Louis Joseph Baron Popelaire de Terloo (1810-1870), Belgian explorer, naturalist, collector in tropical America.

See more of the Family Trochilidae   peru aves

Distribution Map
wire-crested coquetteVoice


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum.  http://fm2.fieldmuseum.org/uw_test/birdsofperu on 08/01/2015.