Black Inca -- 黑星额蜂鸟 (Coeligena prunellei)

Female black Inca
Loading more images and videos...

Black Inca fact file

Black Inca description

GenusCoeligena (1)

The black Inca (Coeligena prunellei) is a dark-coloured hummingbird, which has a long straight bill (2). The plumage is generally black, with a greenish-blue throat patch; on each side of the chest there is a white patch, and the shoulders are iridescent blue (2). As with most hummingbirds, the female is somewhat drab in colour compared to the male (4). The narrow wings are adapted for hovering and the legs and feet are small and weak, a feature hinted at by the name of the order to which hummingbirds and swifts belong, ‘Apodiformes’, a term that means footless (4).

Inca Negro.
Length: 11 cm (2)

Black Inca biology

Little is known of the life history of this rare species. The black Inca is thought to breed between June and October (2).


Black Inca range

The black Inca is endemic to Colombia, where it is restricted to the western slopes of the East Andes (1) (2).


Black Inca habitat

Inhabits humid montane forests, particularly where oaks are dominant (2). Black Inca individuals have also been recorded in parkland and riverine forests (2).


Black Inca status

The black Inca is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1). Listed under Appendix II of CITES (3).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable


Black Inca threats

The main threats affecting the black Inca include habitat loss and degradation, largely as a result of human settlement and the clearance of the forest for wood and for agricultural land, including coffee and sugarcane plantations (2). Much of the remaining habitat is greatly fragmented and isolated (2).


Black Inca conservation

The black Inca is listed under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). It occurs within a nature sanctuary in one part of its range, and so receives a level of protection in this area. There is currently a need to carry out surveys in some parts of the range and to study the life-history and breeding behaviour of the species (2).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

For further information on the black Inca: 

  • BirdLife International 2003 BirdLife’s online World Bird Database: the site for bird conservation Version 2.0. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International:


This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:



A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Montane forests
Forest occurring in the montane zone, a zone of cool upland slopes below the tree line dominated by large evergreen trees.


  1. IUCN Red List (March, 2011)
  2. BirdLife International 2003 Birdlife’s online World Bird Database: the site for bird conservation Version 2.0. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International. (March, 2004)
  3. CITES Appendices (March, 2004)
  4. Erritzoe, J. (1993) The Birds of CITES and how to identify them. The Lutterworth Press, Cambridge.

Image credit

Female black Inca  
Female black Inca


Tom Friedel


Link to this photo

Arkive species - Black Inca (Coeligena prunellei) Embed this Arkive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to Arkive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about



MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite Arkive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!


Back To Top