Great Sapphirewing (Pterophanes cyanopterus)

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

Age: Adult | Sex: Male | Loc. Aguas Calientes, Cusco

Age: Adult | Sex: Female | Loc. Eastern Andes, Colombia

Age: Adult | Sex: Female | Loc. Eastern Andes, Colombia

Age: Adult | Sex: Male | Loc. Eastern Ecuador | Eastern Colombia

Identification & Behavior: ~17.5 cm (6.8 in). The male Great Sapphirewing is all dark green with green notched tail. The upperside and underside of the wings are sapphire-blue.  The female is green above and rufous below with a green notched tail. The bill in both sexes is black and straight. The large size and deep blue wings are diagnostic for the male. The female similar to a Giant Hummingbird, but is distinguished by having green upperparts, lacking a white rump, and favoring humid habitats on the east slope of the Andes.

Status: The Great Sapphirewing is common in humid Andean Scrub and forest edges of the East slope of the Andes. It also occur in similar habitat on the west slope of the Andes in Piura and Cajamarca at elevations ranging between 2600-3700 m. It also occurs in Co, Ec, and Bo.

Name in Spanish: Ala-Zafiro Grande.

Sub-species: Great Sapphirewing (Pterophanes cyanopterus peruvianus), Boucard, 1895.

Meaning of Name: Pterophanes: Gr pteron= wing and hanēs= shining. cyanopterus: Gr. Kuanos= dark-blue and pteros= winged.

See more of the Family Trochilidae   peru aves

Distribution Map
great sapphirewingVoice


    • 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. on 08/01/2015.