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Short-crested Coquette Lophornis brachylophus
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This species is only known from along one road and apparently occupies an extremely small range. Combined with habitat destruction and degradation, this qualifies the species as Critically Endangered. However, surveys may find the species to be more widespread, resulting in a downlisting to Endangered.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Taxonomic note
Gender agreement of species name follows David and Gosselin (2002b).

Lophornis brachylopha BirdLife International (2004), Lophornis brachylopha BirdLife International (2000), Lophornis brachylopha Collar et al. (1994), Lophornis brachylopha Stotz et al. (1996), Lophornis brachylopha Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)

7 cm. Tiny, well-marked hummingbird. Male has bronze-green upperparts with rufous crown and crest. White band on upper rump and bronze-purple lower rump. Green central rectrices, others cinnamon-rufous tipped black. Glistening green throat. Short, orange cheek-tufts tipped green. Whitish band below throat and rest of underparts pale cinnamon. Female lacks crest (crown orange) and cheek patch. Buffy band on rump and duller lower rump. Throat whitish. Rest of underparts pale cinnamon. Black subterminal bar on tail and buff tips to outer rectrices. Similar spp. Bumblebee Hummingbird Atthis heloisa and Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird Tilmatura dupontii are similar-sized, but both have green crown and lack rump-band in all plumages. Voice Generally silent. Sometimes sharp chips.

Distribution and population
Lophornis brachylophus is only known from a 25 km stretch of the Atoyac-Paraíso-Puerto del Gallo road in the Sierra de Atoyac (north-west of Acapulco), and is likely to be confined to the Sierra Madre del Sur in Guerrero, Mexico. All records have been near the villages of Arroyo Grande, Paraíso and Nueva Delhi in the months of January-July (S. Hansson in litt. 2010). At least seasonally, it can be locally fairly common to uncommon (Howell and Webb 1995a).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 250-999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated extent of occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.

Trend justification
During the 1990s, semi-deciduous forest in the species's range was rapidly cleared. However, illegal cultivation for the drug trade has rendered an assessment of habitat quality problematic recently. While new data are lacking, the species is suspected to be continuing to decline at a rate of 10-19% over ten years, owing to forest clearance.

It inhabits humid to semi-humid evergreen and semi-deciduous forest, forest edge and shade coffee plantations at elevations of 900-1,800 m, where it feeds on the flowers of Inga and Cecropia (Howell and Webb 1995a). There are local reports to 650 m suggesting that it may migrate altitudinally, breeding at higher elevations (possibly November-February), and spending March-August (possibly longer) at lower altitudes (Howell and Webb 1995a). Fieldwork in 2011 identified eight species of plant used by the species, and documented interaction with other hummingbird species; observations showed the species is not territorial (BirdLife International 2012).

In the early 1990s, semi-deciduous forest between Paraíso and Nueva Delhi was being rapidly cleared for the cultivation of maize, fruit and coffee. Much of the remaining forest provides cover for illegal drug-growing making an evaluation of habitat quality difficult (S. N. G. Howell in litt. 1998).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. A project funded by Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund ran from 2010-2011 aiming to determine the status and habitat requirements, and to plan and build local capacity for its conservation (BirdLife International 2012). Project activities included: research to assess relative abundance, specific habitat requirements, distribution and threats; a general bird inventory; increasing environmental awareness through education with schoolteachers and community members; a training course for key community members on reserve management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources to support an existing community reserve network; a booklet on birds in nahuatl, the local indigenous language; a draft species action plan and a draft conservation strategy for the Sierra de Atoyac, involving key stakeholders. The plan will address actions including: developing ecologically sensitive farming practices, ecotourism and a waste management programme (Anon 2012). At workshops organized by the Bosque Nuboso Civilian Association for local communities in the three study areas, participants, including high school students, learnt about the importance of ecosystems and natural resources, the critical status of the Short-crested Coquette and the need for conservation planning in the Sierra de Atoyac. Through a "SWOT" analysis carried out during the workshops, information was obtained on the current status of conservation actions in the area and also local capacity for conservation. The workshops improved local community understanding of the issues, and increased awareness of the threats to the Short-crested Coquette and other bird species in the region. In 2011 fieldwork was carried out on six occasions by the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM) at three sites where the species had been recorded in the past.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Designate a protected area in the Sierra de Atoyac (Hernández-Baños et al. 1995) incorporating the range of this species. Survey to clarify the full extent of this species's distribution. Survey to assess the impact of shade coffee plantations on this species and understand its altitudinal movements. If it is confirmed that the species performs altitudinal migration ensure protection of habitat across its altitudinal range (Anon. 2012).

Anon. 2012. Species action update: Short-crested Coquette Lophornis brachylophus. World Birdwatch 24(1): 18-19.

BirdLife International. 2012. Preventing Extinctions Program Americas Report 2011. Unpublished report.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Hernández-Baños, B. E.; Peterson, A. T.; Navarro-Sigüenza, A. G.; Escalante-Pliego, B. P. 1995. Bird faunas of the humid montane forests of Mesoamerica: biogeographic patterns and priorities for conservation. Bird Conservation International 5: 251-278.

Howell, S. N. G.; Webb, S. 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Capper, D., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Ashpole, J

Hansson, S. & Howell, S.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Lophornis brachylophus. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Short-crested coquette (Lophornis brachylophus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered
Family Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
Species name author Moore, 1949
Population size 250-999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 50 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species