The Pufflegs (Eriocnemis) belong to a genus of small hummingbirds which occur in the Andean regions of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and Argentina. Their habitat are tropical and subtropical montane and moist forests as well as scrublands and croplands in an altitude of 1500 to 4500 m asl. The males have a colorful or green shimmering plumage. Their most striking feature are dense snow-white leg-puffs which consist of feather tufts which resemble woolly panties. One species - the Black-thighed Puffleg - is characterized by black coloured leg-puffs. Further common features of all species are the golden green dorsal feathers and the slightly forked tail. They were named by German naturalist Ludwig Reichenbach who called them Snowy panties.
The genus Eriocnemis consists of twelve species of which three are critically endangered and one (the Turquoise-throated Puffleg) is possibly extinct.
Black-breasted Puffleg, Eriocnemis nigrivestis
Glowing Puffleg, Eriocnemis vestitus
Black-thighed Puffleg, Eriocnemis derbyi
Turquoise-throated Puffleg, Eriocnemis godini - possibly extinct (20th century?)
Sapphire-vented Puffleg, Eriocnemis luciani
Coppery-bellied Puffleg, Eriocnemis cupreoventris
Coppery-naped Puffleg, Eriocnemis sapphiropygia
Golden-breasted Puffleg, Eriocnemis mosquera
Blue-capped Puffleg, Eriocnemis glaucopoides
Colorful Puffleg, Eriocnemis mirabilis
Emerald-bellied Puffleg, Eriocnemis alinae
Gorgeted Puffleg, Eriocnemis isabellae
In addition there were the controversial species Eriocnemis soderstromi, Eriocnemis isaacsoni and Eriocnemis dyselius which were each only known by one specimen. In the case of E. soderstromi it could have been either the female of E. godini or a hybrid between E. luciani and E. nigrivestris. Eriocnemis dyselius was nothing more than a melanistic individual of Eriocnemis cupreoventris. This species are considered invalid today.
Systematics and biogeography of the Andean genus Eriocnemis (Abstract)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Puffleg