Long-tailed Woodnymph Thalurania watertonii


Justification of Red List Category
This species has been uplisted to Endangered. It has a small population (<2,500 individuals) and a moderately small and severely fragmented range, with each subpopulation holding less than 250 individuals (ICMBio 2014). The population is suspected to be declining owing to habitat loss (del Hoyo et al. 1999).

Population justification
The global population is estimated at less than 2,500 individuals, with no more than 250 individuals in each subpopulation (ICMBio 2014).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be declining owing to widespread deforestation which is thought to be severe in some areas, although it is noted that the species will accept altered habitats as long as forest patches or stands of trees remain.

Distribution and population

This species is confined to Pernambuco, Alagoas and Sergipe, Brazil (ICMBio 2014). It apparently occurs in northern Bahia (Schuchmann et al. 2015), although there are no recent records (WikiAves 2015). Reports from eastern Pará are probably erroneous, and it is known from just one type specimen in Guyana, although the true origin of the specimen is uncertain (Schuchmann et al. 2015). It is common but presumably declining due to habitat loss. The species's relative abundance is low in RPPN Pedra D'Anta and RPPN Frei Caneca (C.O.A. Gussoni in litt. 2015).


It is restricted to lowland habitats such as coastal rainforest, cerrado, plantations and parks throughout its Atlantic forest range. It forages in the understorey and middle strata, usually on the periphery of vegetation on nectar and occasional invertebrates. Males defend territories against conspecific intruders and other hummingbirds. Breeding occurs between November and February.


Widespread and continuing disappearance of lowland forest in north-eastern Brazil is likely to be causing declines, the Atlantic forests north of the Sao Francisco river having been drastically reduced, with less than 4% remaining by 1995. It seems able to accept man-made habitats as long as patches of forest or stands of scattered trees remain.

Conservation actions

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Listed as Endangered on the 2014 Brazilian Red List (ICMBio 2014). It occurs in Monte Pascoal National Park and Pedra Talhada State Park. It is also found in RPPN Pedra D'Anta and RPPN Frei Caneca (C.O.A. Gussoni in litt. 2015).

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed

Effectively protect and manage protected areas where the species occurs. Study its ecology and its ability to persist in degraded and fragmented habitats. Attempt to obtain an accurate estimate of its population size and trends.


Male c. 13 cm and female c. 10 cm. Medium-sized straight bill. Male has green crown and lower neck, iridescent violet-blue black, grass green underparts and violet-blue flanks and a long, deeply forked tail. Female has golden green crown and hindneck, bluish-green lower back and uniformly greyish-white underparts, tail not elongated but slightly forked (Schuchmann et al. 2015). Voice Suspected to make loud chipping calls at varying speeds and often for long periods (Schuchmann et al. 2015).


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Harding, M., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Williams, R. & Ashpole, J

Gussoni, C.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Thalurania watertonii. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/09/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/09/2022.