Horned Sungem (Heliactin bilophus)

Horned Sungem

[order] Apodiformes | [family] Trochilidae | [latin] Heliactin bilophus | [UK] Horned Sungem | [FR] Colibri aux huppes d’or | [DE] Goldhauben-Schmuckkolibri | [ES] Colibri Cornudito | [IT] Colibri gemma del sole | [NL] Zonnestraalkolibrie


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Loddigesia bilophus
Heliactin bilophus SA c, e

Physical charateristics

It has a spectacular crown tufts showing red, blue and gold, on either side of its iridescent dark blue crown. Upperparts are bronzy-green, throat and upper breast are black while the belly and sides of the neck are white. The tail is long and pointed showing a dark V on white when seen in flight from below. The female is alike but without the spectacular crown pattern or the black throat.

Listen to the sound of Horned Sungem

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/H/Horned Sungem.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 9 cm size max.: 11 cm
incubation min.: 12 days incubation max.: 13 days
fledging min.: 20 days fledging max.: 22 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


The Horned Sungem is found in central and eastern Brazil and adjoining Bolivia with a disjunct population in south Surinam and north Brazil.


It inhabits woodland, cerrado, grasslands and gallery forest.


Nest is a small cup made of soft plant material and cobweb. usually in a fork of a small bush 1 meter above ground. Clutch size is 2 eggs incubated for about 13 days by female only. Young fledge after 20-23 days, first brood is laid in second adult year.

Feeding habits

It feeds on the nectar of flowering bushes and trees as well as small insects.


This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 2,500,000 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.
Horned Sungem status Least Concern


Migratory in Central and East Brazil, sedentary elsewhere. Arrives march-may on breeding grounds, coinciding with flowering season.

Distribution map

Horned Sungem range map


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