Shining Sunbeam (Aglaeactis cupripennis)

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

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Cajamarca, Peru

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Satipo Rd | Lima, Peru

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Cusco, Peru

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Cusco | Apurimac, Peru

Identification & Behavior: ~11.5 cm (4.5 in). The Shining Sunbeam is cinnamon-rufous with a variable amount of dusky on the upperparts, head, and underparts, according to the sub-species. The rump in both sexes is iridescent pink, purple, yellow, and blue. The tail is slightly notched mostly rufous but varies in color. The bill is black and straight. It is similar to the closely related White-tufted Sunbeam. These two species seem to interbreed to some extent as intermediate birds are frequently seen in areas of geographic overlap.

Status: The Shining Sunbeam is common at the edges of montane forests and humid scrub on the east and west slopes of the Andes ranging at elevations between 2500-4600 m. It also occurs in Co and Ec.

Name in Spanish: Rayo-de-Sol Brillante.

Sub-species: Shining Sunbeam (Aglaeactis cupripennis cupripennis), Bourcier, 1843. All three Andean ranges of Colombia, S through Ecuador and Peru (S to La Libertad and, on E slope, to N Huánuco).
(Aglaeactis cupripennis caumatonota), Gould, 1848. C & SC Peru (S La Libertad to Lima and, on E slope, S Huánuco to Cuzco).

Meaning of Name: Aglaeactis:  Gr. Aglaia, aglaos= splendour, magnificence, splendid and aktis, aktinos= sunbeam. cupripennis: L. cupreus= coppery  pennis, penna= winged, feather.

See more of the Family Trochilidae   peru aves

Distribution Map
shining sunbeamVoice


    • 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.