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Glittering Starfrontlet Coeligena orina
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This species has an extremely small and fragmented range and an extremely small and declining population. For these reasons it qualifies as Critically Endangered.

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: #

14 cm. Male is very dark, almost black, with a metallic green sheen. More golden on the rump. Small, bright metallic blue gular spot. Males have a glittering green frontlet on the forehead. Similar spp. Males and females lack the bronzy or cinnamon colour of its former conspecific C. bonapartei. Shows no violet or turquoise in its body plumage.

Distribution and population
This species has a very restricted range, being known from two tiny forest fragments at Páramo Frontino and Farallones del Citará in north-west Colombia. There are only five other localities in the entire western Andes that retain suitable habitat. The combined area of all potentially suitable sites is thought to be less than 25 km2. Therefore, the species's global population is unlikely to exceed 250 individuals.

Population justification
The population is estimated to fall within the band 50-249 mature individuals, equating to 75-374 individuals in total, rounded here to 70-400 individuals.

Trend justification
An ongoing decline of 1-19% over ten years is suspected based on continuing habitat loss within the species's restricted range.

It is apparently tied to elfin forest-timberline-páramo habitats and adjacent tall humid forest. At 3500 m it was seen feeding on insects in the Ericaceae-clad canopy of elfin forest. Stomach content analysis has shown that it feeds on parasitic wasps, spiders and dipterans; presumably in addition to nectar. Very little is known about its habits and breeding ecology.

Páramo de Frontino contains rich deposits of gold, zinc and copper, which have attracted the attention of mining companies. However, political instability in the region has prevented exploitation of these resources to date. The future expansion of mining remains a serious potential threat. The area is currently wholly unprotected and is suffering from continuing deforestation. Future colonisation by human settlers is likely to lead to habitat loss and degradation; a process ongoing in the nearby Las Orquídeas National Park.

Conservation Actions Underway
In 2005, the Dusky Starfrontlet Bird Reserve was established by Fundacion ProAves, protecting over 5,000 acres of humid montane forest to páramo on the Páramo de Frontino (P. Salaman in litt. 2007). A research and visitor station was established in 2007 with research ongoing on the Dusky Starfrontlet (assessing population and ecological requirements) (P. Salaman in litt. 2007). There are proposals by National Parks Administration (UAESPNN) and Municipality of Urrao to extend Las Orquídeas National Park to encompass adjacent Páramo de Frontino. However, the benefit such a designation would have is questionable as the park is currently poorly protected and under great pressure from illegal colonists. Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue surveys to research the species's range, population size and trends. Support the proposed expansion of Las Orquídeas National Park, and the Dusky Starfrontlet Reserve in the Páramo de Frontino. Establish a management plan for Páramo de Frontino and Dusky Starfrontlet Reserve. Lobby for the adequate protection of Las Orquídeas National Park. Mobilise funds to facilitate law enforcement within the National Park and extensions to it.

Krabbe, N.; Salaman, P.; Cortés, A.; Quevedo, A.; Ortega, L. A.; Cadena, C.D. 2005. A new species of Scytalopus tapaculo from the upper Magdalena Valley, Colombia. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 125: 93-108.

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)

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

Species Guardian Action Update

Text account compilers
Bird, J., Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Harding, M., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

Krabbe, N., Salaman, P.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Coeligena orina. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Dusky starfrontlet (Coeligena orina) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered
Family Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
Species name author Wetmore, 1953
Population size 50-249 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 25 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species