Birda Logo
Species Guide
A photo of a Brown Violetear (Colibri delphinae)
Brown Violetear

Brown Violetear

Colibri delphinae

The brown violetear, scientifically known as Colibri delphinae, is a large and distinctive hummingbird. It presents a predominantly dull brown plumage, accented by a rufous rump and more subdued grey underparts. A notable feature is the violet patch that extends from behind the eye, complemented by a malar stripe reminiscent of a hermit's and a shimmering gorget of green and blue on the throat. The bird's bill is relatively short and nearly straight, an adaptation to its feeding habits.

Identification Tips

Adult brown violetears are unmistakable with their unique coloration. The male boasts a vibrant throat patch, while the female's is smaller. Juveniles can be identified by the rufous edges on their upperparts and the reduced or absent violet patch behind their eyes.


This species thrives in the forested mountainous regions, preferring altitudes between 400 and 1600 meters. It is commonly found in the rainforest canopy, tall secondary growth, and even coffee plantations. The brown violetear adapts to various environments, from lowlands to edges and clearings, especially when not nesting.


The brown violetear is native to Central America and parts of South America, primarily the Andes and the tepuis. It also has isolated populations on Trinidad and in Bahia, Brazil.


Outside of the breeding season, the brown violetear is known to disperse into lower elevations. It is not particularly territorial but exhibits high levels of aggression, especially noticeable at feeding sites where it often engages in aerial skirmishes with other hummingbirds.

Song & Calls

The vocal repertoire of the brown violetear includes a robust 'chit' call, which males repeat vigorously, often in loose leks during the breeding season.


Nesting occurs at moderate elevations, with the bird fashioning a small cup-shaped nest from plant down, placed on a twig within a bush. The female lays two white eggs, which she incubates.

Similar Species

The brown violetear may be confused with its relative, the lesser violetear (C. cyanotus), which occupies higher altitudes but has an overlapping range.

Diet and Feeding

Nectar from small flowers of trees, shrubs, and epiphytes comprises the bulk of the brown violetear's diet. It also captures insects in flight, a behavior known as hawking, to supplement its protein intake.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List classifies the brown violetear as Least Concern, indicating a stable population without significant immediate threats to its survival.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Brown Violetears on Birda


More Hummingbirds

Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Gets me outdoors more
I'm still loving this app. I use it most days & gets me outdoors more. Enjoying watching others progress and photo's, it's improved my wellbeing.... I love this app! I can keep a record of sightings and see what others have seen too.
Carl B
Helped me to identify more birds
Love this app and has helped me to identify more birds. The challenges and badges are great for keeping the motivation going to get out and keep birding.
Bryan C
Clean and easy to use
Really enjoying this app, it's clean and easy to use. I love the ease of being able to add those one-off birds without starting a whole checklist. I also like the social aspect, like the parts of my Facebook I like, without the ads and junk, just birds. Can't wait to see it become more populated.
Learning Birding with Birda
I’m relatively new to birding as a hobby, and Birda is a great way to keep track off all the species I see. I’m still working on my ID skills, but the app is great for figuring out potential species, and the online community is so friendly and helpful. Definitely recommend Birda to both early and serious birders! 🐦
Awesome App
I really enjoy using this app! It is such a friendly community of bird-lovers who are happy to help if I need ID advice. It’s been great motivation to get outdoors and go birding more! 10/10 😍😍
Great bird recording
For a while I’ve been trying to find an app to easily record bird lists and day out and struggled to find one that I like. Birda is great for this, straightforward and a great community!
Simply fantastic
I love this app, it puts so much fun into recording the birds I’ve seen and heard while I’m out and about. The interface is user-friendly and suitable for all ages. It’s great to collect badges and to review my “lists”.
Alex J
Friendly and helps to identify birds
Great birding app, good for logging your sightings, also has nice species guide. I'm enjoying the social aspect more than I expected, everyone seems friendly and helps to identify unknown birds. Good mix of newbies and experienced users.
Great app for learning Birds
I’ve been using the app for a couple of months and love it....Someone said it’s like a real life Pokémon Go for birds. They’re not far off! It’s something that the family can do that gets you out and about. Well worth downloading no matter your age.
Safira V
Birding and wellbeing app
Birda is an excellent platform to share your love of Birding and is a great tool of encouragement for a Birding Beginner like me. Birda has a very kind and supportive community of Birding enthusiasts. For me BIRDA is not only a BIRDING but also a WELLBEING App.
As featured in
Birda Logo
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.