Bearded mountaineer

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Bearded mountaineer
Oreonympha nobilis.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Oreonympha
Gould, 1869
Species: O. nobilis
Binomial name
Oreonympha nobilis
Gould, 1869

The bearded mountaineer (Oreonympha nobilis) is a species of hummingbird in the family Trochilidae. It is found only in Peru. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland.

The ornithologist John Gould described the species in 1869, from a specimen collected by H. Whitely at Tinta District, and placed it in its own genus Oreonympha. He recognised a kinship with Oxypogon and Ramphomicron.[2] The genus name is derived from the Ancient Greek words oreo- "mountain" and "nympha" "nymph", while the specific epithet is the Latin adjective nobilis, "noble". A study of mitochondrial DNA of hummingbirds shows it to be most closely related to the bearded helmetcrest (Oxypogon guerinii) and the rufous-capped thornbill (Chalcostigma ruficeps). The other member of the genus Chalcostigma lay outside the group, suggesting the genus might need revising in the future.[3] Two subspecies are recognised - the more widespread nominate subspecies nobilis has a blue eyebrow, while the more restricted albolimbata has white.[4]

On the road northeast of Cusco - Peru

Measuring 15.5 to 16.5 cm (6.1 to 6.5 in) in length, it is a large hummingbird with a long tail and a 2.4 cm (0.94 in) long bill. The underparts of both sexes are white, while the tail is white underneath with black feather tips. The male has a green and purple throat.[4] The upper parts are a bronze-sheened brown and the legs and bill are black.[2]

The species is endemic to Peru, where it is found in high-altitude valleys in the south-central Andes, from 2,700 to 3,900 m (8,900 to 12,800 ft). It lives in scrubland, and often visits tobacco (Nicotiana) plants along roadsides.[4]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Oreonympha nobilis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Gould, John (1869). "Description of a new genus and species of the family Trochilidae". Journal of Zoology: 295–96. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1869.tb07330.x.
  3. ^ McGuire, Jimmy A.; Witt Christopher C.; Remsen, J. V. Jr; Dudley R.; Altshuler, Douglas L. (2008). "A higher-level taxonomy for hummingbird" (PDF). Journal of Ornithology. 150: 155–65. doi:10.1007/s10336-008-0330-x.
  4. ^ a b c Schulenberg, Thomas S. (2007). Birds of Peru. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. pp. 242–43. ISBN 0-691-13023-X. Retrieved 11 June 2011.