Turquoise-throated Puffleg


The Turquoise-throated Puffleg (Eriocnemis godini), also known as Godin’s puffleg, is a presumed extincthummingbird. It was named for Jean Godin des Odonais, a French cartographer from the 18th century.


This species had reached a length between 10 and 11 centimetres. The plumage of the males was colored predominantly green. They had a turquoise tinted throat. Both sexes had violet blue untertailcoverts and a straight black bill. The upperparts and the mainly part of the underparts were shimmering golden green at the males. Rump and uppertailcoverts were dyed bluish green. The throat was pale violet blue and the forked tail was bluish black. The females lacked the throat patches, its plumage was less light and the belly was more golden. Like all puff-legs it had strikingly leg-puffs of dense white downy feather tufts.


The Turquoise-throated puffleg occurred in Ecuador at the Guayllabamba River south of Perucho in the Pichincha Province in the far north of the country. Two further specimens are presumedly from Pasto in the south of the Nariño Department in Colombia.


This hummingbird is only known by six specimens which were collected in the 19th century. Only the type specimen from 1850 is from a known locality in the Chillo valley, Guayllabamba plains in an altitude between 2,100 and 2,300 m asl. Two skins were purchased in Bogotá.

The species became extinct because of the destruction of its scrubland habitat in the type locality. Only a few remnants are left in the steep-sided stream-cuts in the arid upper Guaillabamba drainage.

After an unconfirmed sighting in 1976 there was a survey in 1980. Despite extensive searches the survey had failed and this species left lost.

Turquoise-throated Puffleg
Conservation status: Critical
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Trochiliformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Eriocnemis
Species: E. godini
Binomial name
Eriocnemis godini
(Bourcier, 1851)


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