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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Subsectio: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Ordo: Apodiformes

Familia: Trochilidae
Subfamilia: Trochilinae
Genus: Oreotrochilus
Species: O. adela – O. chimborazo – O. cyanolaemus – O. estella – O. leucopleurus – O. melanogaster – O. stolzmanni

Oreotrochilus Gould, 1847

Trochilus estella Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1838 = Oreotrochilus estella

Primary references

PZS Pt15 no.168 p.9

Additional references

Sornoza Molina, F., Freile, J.F., Nilsson, J., Krabbe, N. & Bonaccorso, E. 2018. A striking, critically endangered, new species of hillstar (Trochilidae: Oreotrochilus) from the southwestern Andes of Ecuador. The Auk 135(4): 1146–1171. Full article view DOI: 10.1642/AUK-18-58.1 Reference page.

The hillstars are hummingbirds of the genus Oreotrochilus. They are native to the Andes in South America.

The Urochroa hillstars are not closely related.

Species list

There genus contains seven species:[1]

Ecuadorian hillstar (Oreotrochilus chimborazo)
Andean hillstar (Oreotrochilus estella)
Green-headed hillstar (Oreotrochilus stolzmanni)
White-sided hillstar (Oreotrochilus leucopleurus)
Black-breasted hillstar (Oreotrochilus melanogaster)
Wedge-tailed hillstar (Oreotrochilus adela)
Blue-throated hillstar (Oreotrochilus cyanolaemus)


The birds are approximately 13 centimetres (5.1 in) in length with fairly long, slightly decurved black bills. They are sexually dimorphic. The male usually has an iridescent green throat, or bluish-purple in the Ecuadorian hillstar, with dull greenish upperparts and pale flanks. The central underparts are usually black, but are brown in the Andean hillstar. The tail is usually dark with a contrasting white pattern; the pattern is cinnamon in the wedge-tailed hillstar, and the tail is entirely dark in the black-breasted hillstar. The female is duller, with a whitish throat densely spotted with green, white, buff, or cinnamon underparts, and a dark tail with a white pattern.

These highly territorial hummingbirds are found in temperate and alpine grassland, scrub and woodland at altitudes of 1,200 to 5,200 metres (3,900 to 17,100 ft). The Ecuadorian hillstar has been observed nesting at high altitudes on the cliffs of Cotopaxi.[2] This species is known to nest colonially.[3]

Many hillstars feed mainly on shrubs of the Andean plant genus Chuquiraga, and some species may be limited to them.[4]

The genus has undergone allopatric speciation.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Oreotrochilus.

Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (July 2020). "Hummingbirds". IOC World Bird List Version 10.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
Smith, G. T. (1969). A high altitude hummingbird on the volcano Cotopaxi. Ibis 111(1), 17-22.
Solano-Ugalde, A. (2008). High in the Andes: Colonial nesting of Ecuadorean Hillstar (Oreotrochilus chimborazo: Trochilidae) under a bridge. Ornitología Colombiana 6, 86-88.

Bleiweiss, R. (1982). The northern limit of the hummingbird genus Oreotrochilus in South America. The Auk 99(2), 376-78.

Fjeldså, J. and I. Heynen (1999). Genus Oreotrochilus. pp. 623–24 In: del Hoyo, J., et al. (eds.) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 5. Barn-owls to Hummingbirds. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. 1999. ISBN 84-87334-25-3

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