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Long-tailed Woodnymph Thalurania watertonii
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This species has been uplisted to Endangered. It has a small population (<2,500 individuals) and a moderately small and severely fragmented range, with each subpopulation holding less than 250 individuals (ICMBio 2015). The population is suspected to be declining owing to habitat loss (del Hoyo et al. 1999).

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Male c. 13 cm and female c. 10 cm. Medium-sized straight bill. Male has green crown and lower neck, iridescent violet-blue black, grass green underparts and violet-blue flanks and a long, deeply forked tail. Female has golden green crown and hindneck, bluish-green lower back and uniformly greyish-white underparts, tail not elongated but slightly forked (Schuchmann and Kirwan 2013). Voice Suspected to make loud "chipping" calls at varying speeds and often for long periods (Schuchmann and Kirwan 2013).

Distribution and population
This species is confined to Pernambuco, Alagoas and Sergipe, Brazil (ICMBio 2014). It apparently occurs in northern Bahia (Schuchmann and Kirwan 2013), although there are no recent records (WikiAves 2015). Reports from eastern Pará are probably erroneous (Pacheco and Kirwan 2013). It is known from just one type specimen in Guyana, although the true origin of the specimen is uncertain (Schuchmann and Kirwan 2013). It is common but presumably declining due to habitat loss. The species's relative abundance is low in RPPN Pedra D'Anta and RPPN Frei Caneca (C.O.A. Gussoni in litt. 2015).

Population justification
The global population is estimated at less than 2,500 individuals, with no more than 250 individuals in each subpopulation (ICMBio 2014).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be declining owing to widespread deforestation which is thought to be severe in some areas, although it is noted that the species will accept altered habitats as long as forest patches or stands of trees remain.

It is restricted to lowland habitats such as coastal rainforest, cerrado, plantations and parks throughout its Atlantic forest range. It forages in the understorey and middle strata, usually on the periphery of vegetation on nectar and occasional invertebrates. Males defend territories against conspecific intruders and other hummingbirds. Breeding occurs between November and February.

Widespread and continuing disappearance of lowland forest in north-eastern Brazil is likely to be causing declines, the Atlantic forests north of the Sao Francisco river having been drastically reduced, with less than 4% remaining by 1995. It seems able to accept man-made habitats as long as patches of forest or stands of scattered trees remain.

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. It occurs in Monte Pascoal National Park and Pedra Talhada State Park. It is also found in RPPN Pedra D'Anta and RPPN Frei Caneca (C.O.A. Gussoni in litt. 2015). Listed as Endangered on the 2014 Brazilian Red List (ICMBio 2014).

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed

Effectively protect and manage protected areas where the species occurs. Study its ecology and its ability to persist in degraded and fragmented habitats. Attempt to obtain an accurate estimate of its population size and trends.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1999. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 5: Barn-owls to Hummingbirds. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

ICMBio. 2014. Aves - Thalurania watertonii (Bourcier, 1847) - Beija-flor-de-costas-violetas. Instituto Chico Mendes. Available at:

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Pacheco, J. F.; Whitney, B. M. 1995. Range extensions for some birds in northeastern Brazil. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 115: 157-163.

WikiAves. 2015. Beija-flor-de-costas-violetas. WikiAves Available at: (Accessed: 30/09/2015).

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Harding, M., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Williams, R. & Ashpole, J

Gussoni, C.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Thalurania watertonii. Downloaded from on 24/11/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/11/2015.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
Species name author (Bourcier, 1847)
Population size 1000-2499 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 34,800 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species