Purple Honeycreeper
Background information
Taxonomy Birds
Status Least Concern
Range From Venezuela to Brazil
Habitat Rainforest Canopy
Feathers, fur Mostly Blue, with a black beak and black facial markings

Shining Honeycreepers are small bluebirds in the tanager family. They are found in the tropical New World from Mexico south to Brazil. They occur in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, they are specialist nectar feeders with long curved bills. An unnamed honeycreeper, dubbed Trapped Bird, is seen in Rio, when Blu and Jewel are captured for the first time by the smugglers. Fernando leads them into a room with many other captured birds, one being a honeycreeper, trapped in a cage full of other birds just like him, except they are yellow.

The four Cyanerpes species have colorful legs, long wings and a short tail. The males are typically glossy purple-blue and the females greenish.

The Green Honeycreeper is called a Honeycreeper, but belongs to the monotypic Chlorophanes genus. It has a larger, stouter beak than the Cyanerpes group, and is less heavily dependent on nectar.

The Golden-collared Honeycreeper, is also a honeycreeper, but is monotypic in the genus Iridophanes.


The shining honeycreeper is 10 cm long, weighs 11 g and has a long black decurved bill. The male is purple-blue with black wings, tail and throat, and bright yellow legs. The female has green upperparts, a greenish-blue head, buff throat and buff-streaked bluish underparts. The immature is similar to the female, but is greener on the head and breast.


Although seen in Rio, it is really found in Central America, Panama, and Nothwest Columbia.


A common misconception about the bird is that its eggs are black. This idea was first made known in the scientific community with the 1899 publication of Nehrkorn's egg catalog; Nehrkorn's claim was cited in ornithological literature for many years without verification, but by the 1940s it was established that none of the members of Cyanerpes lay such eggs.


  • Short-billed Honeycreeper, Cyanerpes nitidus
  • Shining Honeycreeper, Cyanerpes lucidus
  • Purple Honeycreeper, Cyanerpes caeruleus
  • Red-legged Honeycreeper, Cyanerpes cyaneus


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