The pufflegs are small to medium-sized South American hummingbirds that were named for their distinctive dense feathering around their legs known as “leg puffs” – which are unique among the pufflegs.
It comprises the members of the genera Haplophaedia and Eriocnemis.
The pufflegs occur naturally in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela – at elevations between 3,300 – 15,700 ft (1000 – 4800 m).
Their natural habitats are the humid forests, woodlands and shrubs in the Andes.
The Genus Haplophaedia favor the forest interior; while the genus Eriocnemis are mostly found along the f forest edges, in elfin forests (forests with stunted trees growing at high altitude), and adjacent humid shrub zone.
Most of the pufflegs are fairly common within their range; however a few species are at risk of becoming extinct (critically endangered) or are possibly extinct:
- Hummingbird Information
- Hummingbird Amazing Facts
- Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden
- Hummingbird Species
- Feeding Hummingbirds
The adult males have a glossy green, coppery or steel-blue plumage. The female plumage is generally duller. Pufflegs have straight black bill and a slightly to deeply forked tail.
This species was named for the dense feathering around the legs known as “leg puffs,” which have been described as resembling “woolly panties” or “little cotton balls” above the legs.
These dense feather tufts are snow-white in most species, but are black in the Black-thighed Puffleg and lightly buff-tinged in the Buff-thighed Puffleg. Both males and females have this distinctive leg plumage, but it is not always visible
The members of the genus Haplophaedia are generally duller than the members of Eriocnemis.
Calls / Vocalizations
Like most hummingbirds, they are mostly silent. Their occasional calls (often given after taking flight) are described as a monotonous repeated metallic “tseet tseet tseet“.