Black eared Fairy (Heliothryx auritus)

Black-eared Fairy

[order] Apodiformes | [family] Trochilidae | [latin] Heliothryx auritus | [UK] Black-eared Fairy | [FR] Colibri oreillard | [DE] Schwarzohr-Schmuckkolibri | [ES] Colibri Hada Oriental | [IT] Capello di sole orecchie nere | [NL] Zwartkop-feeunkolibrie


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Heliactin auritus
Heliothryx auritus SA Amazonia, e
Heliothryx auritus auriculatus e Peru to c Bolivia and c and e Brazil
Heliothryx auritus auritus se Colombia and e Ecuador through Venezuela, the Guianas and n Brazil
Heliothryx auritus phainolaemus nc Brazil (s of the Amazon)

Physical charateristics

A medium-sized tropical hummingbird. It has bright green upperparts, white underparts and a black mask. The relatively short, straight bill is black. The graduated tail is blue-black in the center, with white outer tail feathers (i.e. typically appear blue-black from above, white from below). Depending on subspecies, the male has a green malar or throat. The female is similar, but with a longer tail and no green malar/throat.

Listen to the sound of Black-eared Fairy

[audio: Fairy.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 10 cm size max.: 13 cm
incubation min.: 15 days incubation max.: 16 days
fledging min.: 23 days fledging max.: 26 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


It is found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.


Wet lowland forest, forest edges. Forages in middle strata to canopy in forest.


Breeds all year around, nest is a cup made of down attached to a branch about 3-30 meter above ground. Clutch size is 2 eggs incubated by female for about 15 days. Young fledge after 23-26 days. First brood in second year.

Feeding habits

This hummingbird hawks small insects in the air, as well as gleaning them from foliage. When feeding on nectar, it sometimes pierces a small hole at the base of large flowers, giving access to nectar that otherwise only is accessible to hummingbirds with longer bills.


This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 6,900,000 km2. The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population size criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., less than 10,000 mature individuals in conjunction with appropriate decline rates and subpopulation qualifiers), even though the species is described as ‘uncommon’ in at least parts of its range (Stotz et al. 1996). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Black-eared Fairy status Least Concern


Considered sedentary, allthough some movements in Brazil are known.

Distribution map

Black-eared Fairy range map


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