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Discover the Secrets of Longuemare’s Sunangel: A Dazzling Jewel of the Andes

Longuemare’s Sunangel: A Gem of the Andes

Longuemare’s Sunangel, or Heliangelus clarisse, is a spectacular hummingbird species found in the Andes of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. This tiny bird sports bright and shiny plumage, making it a delight to spot in its natural habitat.

In this article, we will explore the identification, plumage, and molts of this adorable bird species.


Field Identification

The adult male Longuemare’s Sunangel can be easily identified by its striking blue-violet gorget, green metallic upperparts, and white underparts. The female looks similar to the male but lacks the gorget.

The bill is relatively short, straight, and black, and the feet are small and dark. The tail is forked and narrow but relatively long, measuring up to 5 cm in length.

Similar Species

Longuemare’s Sunangel can be easily confused with other hummingbird species. Among the most similar are the Violet-throated Metaltail, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, and Shining Sunbeam.

However, the distinctive blue gorget and white underparts of the adult male make the identification of this species easier. Additionally, the elongated tail feathers of the Longuemare’s Sunangel help distinguish it from other similar-looking species.


Longuemare’s Sunangel displays a sexual dimorphism: Adult males have brightly colored plumage, and adult females have duller colors. This is typical of many bird species.


Like most other hummingbird species, Longuemare’s Sunangel undergoes an annual molt, which takes place after the breeding season. During this time, the birds will replace feathers that have become worn and damaged with new ones.

Males will start to molt earlier than females, typically between January and February.


Longuemare’s Sunangel is an incredible bird species that captivates birdwatchers and nature lovers from all over the world with its gorgeous plumage and unique features. It is yet another example of nature’s extraordinary diversity and beauty worthy of our admiration and protection.

If you find yourself trekking through the Andean mountains, make sure to keep your eyes open for this little gem of a bird. You won’t be disappointed!

Longuemare’s Sunangel: Systematics, Distribution, and

Related Species

Longuemares Sunangel, or Heliangelus clarisse, is a dazzling hummingbird that resides in the slopes of South American Andes, ranging from Peru to Bolivia and Chile.

While this bird has never been classified as endangered, its habitat is threatened by deforestation, environmental degradation, and climate change. In this article, we will explore the history of its systematics, geographic variation, subspecies, related species, and historical changes to its distribution.

Systematics History

The systematics of the Longuemare’s Sunangel have undergone significant changes since it was first described in 1847 by French naturalist Jules Bourcier. For many years, it was considered a member of the family Trochilidae, which included all hummingbirds.

However, molecular studies later showed that this species belongs to a smaller family within the Trochilidae family called Heliangelini.

Geographic Variation

Longuemare’s Sunangel displays geographic variation in coloration across its range, which includes parts of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. Differences in plumage coloration are most evident in males, which show significant variation in the hue and intensity of their iridescent gorgets.


There are two recognized subspecies of Longuemare’s Sunangel, H. clarisse clarisse, and H.

clarisse albonotatus. The former ranges from southern Peru to northern Bolivia, while the latter is found in central and southern Bolivia.

The two subspecies can be distinguished primarily by their differences in size and coloration. H.

clarisse albonotatus is larger and has a more extensive white patch on its underparts.

Related Species

Longuemare’s Sunangel belongs to the family of sunangels or Andean heliangelus, which comprises ten species. The sunangels are a relatively small and taxonomically complex group of hummingbirds, with several described species still being investigated for their taxonomic status.

The most closely related species to Longuemare’s Sunangel are Viridian Metaltail and the Greenish Puffleg.

Historical Changes to Distribution

Historical changes to the distribution of Longuemare’s Sunangel are not well documented. However, recent studies suggest that changes in climate and habitat degradation due to human activity are the most significant drivers of habitat loss and population decline in this species.

Ongoing research will be necessary to understand the full extent of these changes and their impact on the distribution of the Longuemare’s Sunangel.


Longuemare’s Sunangel is a remarkable bird species found in the rugged slopes of Andean mountains in South America. The systematics of this species have undergone numerous revisions over the years, and it still remains a focus of scientific investigation.

However, despite the challenges of habitat loss and climate change, this bird remains widespread across its range. More research is needed to understand the extent of its ecological connectivity, population dynamics, and the long-term consequences of human intervention on its habitat.

By focusing on these critical areas, we can increase our understanding of this beautiful bird and maximize conservation efforts to preserve its natural habitat. Longuemare’s Sunangel:

Habitat, Movements, and Migration

Longuemare’s Sunangel, or Heliangelus clarisse, is a dazzling hummingbird species found in the Andes of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile.

This species, like many other hummingbirds, relies on specific habitats to survive, and its movements and migration patterns are closely tied to habitat availability. In this article, we will explore the habitat requirements of Longuemare’s Sunangel, its movements, and migration.


Longuemare’s Sunangel inhabits montane forests and shrublands in the Andean highlands, at elevations ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 meters above sea level. These habitats feature a mix of plant communities, including Polylepis woodlands, montane scrublands, and humid and barren high-altitude grasslands.

The availability of flowers is essential for this species to survive, and it primarily feeds on nectar from Andean plants such as Fuchsia lycoides, F. magellanica, and Lupinus.

Movements and Migration

Longuemare’s Sunangel, like all hummingbird species, is known for its hovering flight in front of flowers to feed. However, it is also capable of sustained flight over long distances, especially during the breeding season.

During the breeding season, which runs from August to December, males establish territories and perform courtship displays to attract females. Females construct nests and lay their eggs, typically two in each clutch.

After the breeding season, Longuemare’s Sunangel may make short-distance movements to search for food sources as they become scarcer due to seasonal changes. These movements are typically within the bird’s core habitat range.

In contrast, non-breeding birds might make larger scale movements to search for food, shelter, or new breeding grounds. Migration patterns of Longuemare’s Sunangel are not entirely understood, but they are believed to be altitudinal in nature.

This species is capable of adapting to different elevations and habitats, depending on food availability and climate conditions. Some studies suggest that this species might move to lower elevations during the non-breeding season, where nectar sources are more abundant.

Migration trends have been challenging to study in hummingbirds as they are small and difficult to track over long distances. However, studies have shown that some species use clues such as Earth’s magnetic field and visual cues to navigate during migration.

Historical Changes to


Historical changes to habitat have played a significant role in the population trends of Longuemare’s Sunangel. Human activities such as mining, deforestation, and agriculture have reduced the available habitat range of this species.

Climate change has also affected Andean ecosystems, changing the altitudinal range and distribution of many plant species that hummingbirds rely on for food and shelter. To prevent further damage to the habitat range of Longuemare’s Sunangel, habitat restoration and conservation measures are important.

Conservation efforts include the creation of protected areas that encompass the entire range of the species, encouraging sustainable agricultural practices to prevent habitat loss while providing for local communities.


Longuemare’s Sunangel is a stunning hummingbird species found in the Andean highlands of South America. This species’ movements and migration patterns are closely linked to habitat availability, and changes to habitat range have a significant impact on its population trends.

Continued research is required to better understand migration patterns, reproductive biology, and ecological connectivity. By focusing on conservation efforts such as habitat restoration, protected area creation, and sustainable land use, we can ensure that this beautiful species continues to thrive in its natural habitat.

Longuemare’s Sunangel:

Diet and Foraging, and Vocal Behavior

Longuemare’s Sunangel, or Heliangelus clarisse, is a colorful hummingbird species found in the South American Andes. This species is known for its distinctive coloration, but it is also an important player in the ecosystem’s food web.

In this article, we will explore the diet and foraging habits of Longuemare’s Sunangel and its vocal behaviors.

Diet and Foraging


Longuemare’s Sunangel is a nectar specialist, and this species primarily feeds on nectar from high-altitude flowers. Hummingbirds have high metabolic rates and require a significant amount of energy to sustain their hovering flight and active lifestyle.

This species, like other hummingbirds, is adapted to a specialized diet, requiring a high intake of nectar to meet its energy demands.


Longuemare’s Sunangel has a specialized diet, and the birds require high nectar intake to meet their energy demands. This species typically feeds on the nectar of high-altitude flowers such as Fuchsia, a primary food source in the Andes where it occurs.

Additionally, Sunangel feeds on small insects and spiders as a vital source of protein necessary for their growth and development.

Metabolism and Temperature Regulation

Hummingbirds have one of the highest metabolic rates of any bird species, and as a result, have a specialized temperature regulation where they must maintain a specific high body temperature at night to survive. This requires hummingbirds to consume an immense amount of nectar during the day to build up fat reserves of glucose that can be used during the night.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


Longuemare’s Sunangel is known to be highly vocal and is capable of producing a variety of sounds for communication. The song is complex and consists mainly of short, high-pitched notes, delivered in a sequence, ending with a long whistling note.

Males sing most frequently during the breeding season, establishing their territories and advertising to females. Vocalization is critical for Longuemare’s Sunangel as it helps these birds in social communication, mating availability, and territorial defense.

A similar vocalization is also used in courtship displays, whereby the male utters the song while hovering in front of the female repeatedly. Additionally, studies have shown that vocalizations play a crucial role in territory establishment, social communication, and conspecific recognition in this species.


Longuemare’s Sunangel is a beautiful hummingbird species that plays a vital role in its ecosystem, primarily responsible for pollinating high-altitude flowering plants. This little species also serves as a prominent example of how a specialized diet can lead to unique metabolic, temperature regulation, and foraging behavior.

In addition to this, Sunangels, like many hummingbirds, use their vocalizations for communication, and these birds have developed a range of complex and intriguing sounds for social communication, mating, and territorial defense. Through efforts to conserve its habitat, future generations will be able to enjoy and learn about the Longuemare’s Sunangels stunning coloration, unique metabolism, and beautiful vocalizations.

Longuemare’s Sunangel: Behavior,

Breeding, Demography, and Populations

Longuemare’s Sunangel, or Heliangelus clarisse, is a remarkable hummingbird species found in the Andes of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. The behavior, breeding, and population dynamics of this bird species have been topics of interest for researchers studying the ecology and conservation of hummingbirds.

In this article, we will explore the behavior of Longuemare’s Sunangel, its breeding habits, demography, and population trends.



Longuemare’s Sunangel is a highly mobile bird species that utilizes precise hovering flight to collect nectar from flowers. The bird is adapted to a specialized hovering flight that allows it to remain stationary while feeding.

This hovering flight is fueled by the bird’s high metabolic rate, which allows the bird to generate substantial amounts of energy in flight. Additionally, Sunangels have the ability to fly backward, upside down, and “cartwheel” with incredible speed and agility.


Longuemare’s Sunangel also practices behaviors essential for its self-maintenance, such as preening. Preening can be used as a mechanism for removing dirt, debris, and parasites from their feathers and is thought to help regulate their temperature.

Agonistic Behavior

Longuemare’s Sunangel exhibits significant agonistic behaviors during the breeding season, involving aggressive behaviors such as chasing and vocalizations in males as they defend their territory from other males seeking mates.

Sexual Behavior

Longuemare’s Sunangel boasts a fascinating courtship behavior performed by males to attract females. The courtship display includes diving from a height of around 20 meters with their wings closed, followed by an ascent that culminates in flying in front of the female producing high-pitched sounds as they hover.


Longuemare’s Sunangel has a breeding season that takes place from August to December, coinciding with the peak availability of nectar and insects that form their diet. During the breeding season, males establish territories that contain sufficient resources to attract and support potential mates.

Females participate in mate choosing, selecting males that exhibit suitable territorial, vocal, and behavioral displays. The nest of Longuemare’s Sunangel is a cup-like structure made of moss and spider webs, among other materials.

The nest is typically located on a thin tree branch, and the female typically lays one to two eggs in each clutch. The female incubates the eggs for approximately 12-17 days, and once the chicks are hatched, both parents will share the responsibilities of feeding them until the chicks are mature enough to leave the nest.

Demography and Populations

The population trends of Longuemare’s Sunangel are not well-studied, and the current population size of this species is unknown. However, habitat loss due to human activities such as mining and deforestation, combined with climate change, may have adversely affected the breeding success and population of this species.

Ongoing research and conservation efforts will be essential to ensure that this species continues to thrive.


Longuemare’s Sunangel is a fascinating hummingbird species that exhibits unique behaviors like specialized hovering flight, courtship dive, and cartwheeling in flight. The breeding season of the Sunangels coincides with peak resources availability, and they show substantial assortative mating behavior.

Additionally, the species’ population size, demography, and population trends remain poorly known, primarily due to the study of these species’ remote habitat. With ongoing conservation efforts and further research, we can continue to learn about and appreciate this magnificent bird species.

Longuemare’s Sunangel, or Heliangelus clarisse, is a beautiful hummingbird species found in the high-altitude Andean forests and shrublands of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. In this article, we have explored the various aspects of this remarkable bird species, including its taxonomy, habitat, breeding, diet, and population trends.

Longuemare’s Sunangel’s distinctive hovering flight, specialized nectar-based diet, beautiful colors, and unique vocalizations make it an essential player in its ecosystem. However, habitat degradation and other human activities continue to threaten its population, and ongoing conservation efforts are necessary to preserve this species and other avian species adapted to harsh environments.

The study of Longuemare’s Sunangel provides insights into bird behavior, ecology, genetics, and conservation, and with further research, we can continue to learn about and appreciate this magnificent bird species.

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