From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

White-tailed sabrewing.jpg
White-tailed sabrewing
Campylopterus ensipennis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Tribe: Trochilini
Genus: Campylopterus
Swainson, 1827
Type species
Trochilus largipennis
Boddaert, 1783

10, see text

The sabrewings are relatively large Neotropical hummingbirds that form the genus Campylopterus. They are species of the understory and edges of forests, mostly in mountains, and often near streams. The female Sabrewing lays its two white eggs in a relatively large cup nest on a low horizontal branch, usually over a stream.

The sabrewings are very large for hummingbirds, typically 12–15 cm long. The black bill is strong and slightly decurved. The shafts of the male's two outermost primary flight feathers are thickened, flattened and bent at an angle to give the distinctive feature which gives the sabrewings their English and scientific names (Greek καμπυλος kampylos, "bent", and πτερον pteron, "wing").

In some species, the male and female plumage is similar, in others, such as the violet sabrewing, the sexes look completely different. In several species, the three outer pairs of the tail feathers are broadly tipped white.

The food of sabrewings is nectar, taken mainly from undergrowth flowers such as Heliconia and bananas.


The genus Campylopterus was erected by the English naturalist William Swainson in 1827.[1] The type species was subsequently designated as the grey-breasted sabrewing.[2] The generic name combines the Ancient Greek kampulos meaning "curved" or "bent" and -pteros meaning "-winged".[3]

The sombre hummingbird and swallow-tailed hummingbird, formerly classified in Campylopterus, have been reclassified by most authorities into their own monotypic genera Aphantochroa and Eupetomena.

The genus contains 10 species:[4]

Image Name Common name Distribution
Campylopterus largipennis 2.jpg Campylopterus largipennis Gray-breasted sabrewing Bahia and Minas Gerais in eastern Brazil
Campylopterus diamantinensis Diamantina sabrewing Brazil
Campylopterus calcirupicola Outcrop sabrewing Brazil
Campylopterus hyperythrus.jpg Campylopterus hyperythrus Rufous-breasted sabrewing Brazil, Guyana, and Venezuela
Flickr - Rainbirder - White-tailed Sabrewing (Campylopterus ensipennis), crop.jpg Campylopterus ensipennis White-tailed sabrewing northeastern Venezuela and Tobago
Campylopterus falcatus.jpg Campylopterus falcatus Lazuline sabrewing Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela
CampylopterusOxypogonKeulemans, Campylopterus phainopeplus.jpg Campylopterus phainopeplus Santa Marta sabrewing Colombia
Fandanguero Morado, Violet Sabrewing, Campylopterus hemileucurus (11703081214), crop.jpg Campylopterus hemileucurus Violet sabrewing southern Mexico and Central America as far south as Costa Rica and western Panama
Campylopterus duidae Buff-breasted sabrewing Brazil and Venezuela
Campylopterus villaviscensio 2.jpg Campylopterus villaviscensio Napo sabrewing Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru


  1. ^ Swainson, William John (1827). "On several groups and forms in ornithology, not hitherto defined". Zoological Journal. 3: 343-363 [358].
  2. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1945). Check-list of Birds of the World. Vol. 5. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 18.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 87. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (January 2021). "Hummingbirds". IOC World Bird List Version 11.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 10 February 2021.