This striking hummingbird is rather uncommon in temperate forests between 1700-3500m in all three Andean ranges. Females lack the purple colors of males and male immatures are patchily colored above and whitish below with green spots.

Can be seen along the road to Los Nevados but especially on the Old Road to Los Nevados. Has territorial disputes with Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Golden-breasted Pufflegs and other hummingbirds.