Backyard Birds

Chestnut-breasted Coronet – Hummingbirds

The Chestnut-breasted Coronet (Boissonneaua matthewsii) is a South American hummingbird that occurs naturally in the humid montane Andean forests in extreme southeastern Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru (on the western slope south to Cajamarca, on the eastern slope south of Cuzco.

Chestnut-breasted Coronet
Chestnut-breasted Coronet (Boissonneaua matthewsii)

Alternate (Global) Names

Spanish: Colibrí de Pecho Rojo, Colibrí Pechicastaño, Colibrí Pechirrojo … French: Colibri de Matthews … Italian: Colibrì diadema pettocastano, Coronetto pettocastano … German: Rotbauchkolibri, Zimtschwanzkolibri, Zimtschwanz-Kolibri …Czech: Kolibrík peruánský, kolib?ík peruánský … Danish: Kastaniebrystet Juvelkolibri, Kastanjebrystet Juvelkolibri … Finnish: Kastanjakolibri … Japanese: chamunefuchiohachidori, chamunefuchioúhachidori … Dutch: Matthew-hoornkolibrie, Matthews’ Hoornkolibrie … Norwegian: Kastanjebrystkolibri … Polish: amorek ognisty … Russian: ??????????????? ??????????? ???????
Slovak: ink gaštanový … Swedish: Kastanjebröstad kolibri


The Chestnut-breasted Coronet has strikingly contrasting rufous underparts and green upperparts.

Chestnut-breasted Coronet (Boissonneaua matthewsii)
Chestnut-breasted Coronet (Boissonneaua matthewsii)

Nesting / Breeding

Hummingbirds are solitary in all aspects of life other than breeding, and the male’s only involvement in the reproductive process is the actual mating with the female.

They neither live nor migrate in flocks, and there is no pair bond for this species. Males court females by flying in a U-shaped pattern in front of them. He will separate from the female immediately after copulation.

One male may mate with several females. In all likelihood, the female will also mate with several males. The males do not participate in choosing the nest location, building the nest, or raising the chicks.

The female Chestnut-breasted Coronet is responsible for building the cup-shaped nest out of plant fibers woven together and green moss on the outside for camouflage in a protected location in a shrub, bush, or tree.

She lines the nest with soft plant fibers, animal hair, and feathers down, and strengthens the structure with spider webbing and other sticky material, giving it an elastic quality to allow it to stretch to double its size as the chicks grow and need more room.

The nest is typically found on a low, skinny horizontal perch.

The average clutch consists of two white eggs, which she incubates alone, while the male defends his territory and the flowers he feeds on. The young are born blind, immobile, and without any down.

The female alone protects and feeds the chicks with regurgitated food (mostly partially digested insects since nectar is an insufficient source of protein for the growing chicks). The female pushes the food down the chicks’ throats with her long bill directly into their stomachs.

As is the case with other hummingbird species, the chicks are brooded only the first week or two and are left alone even on cooler nights after about 12 days – probably due to the small nest size. The chicks leave the nest when they are about 7 – 10 days old.

Chestnut breasted Coronet Hummingbird

Diet / Feeding

The Chestnut-breasted Coronets primarily feed on nectar taken from a variety of brightly colored, scented small flowers of trees, herbs, shrubs and epiphytes.

They favor flowers with the highest sugar content (often red-colored and tubular-shaped) and seek out, and aggressively protect, those areas containing flowers with high energy nectar.

They use their long, extendible, straw-like tongues to retrieve the nectar while hovering with their tails cocked upward as they are licking at the nectar up to 13 times per second. Sometimes they may be seen hanging on the flower while feeding.

Chestnut-breasted Coronet

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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