SCIENTIFIC NAME:Heliangelus regalis POPULATION: 3,500-15,000 individuals IUCN STATUS: Endangered TREND: Decreasing HABITAT: Ridgetops adjacent to stunted forests on poor, sandy soils.
In the right lighting, a male Royal Sunangel is a striking sight, with plumage of deep, shimmering violet-blue and a long, forked tail. Like the Rainbow-bearded ThornbillandGlittering Starfrontlet, it needs direct light to really shine; low light makes these avian gems seem dark and dull-colored.
This regal species is known only from a handful of sites in northern Peru and southern Ecuador. Habitat lossfrom agriculture, mining operations, and road building are the biggest threats within its small, already-fragmented range.