Scintillant Hummingbird

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Selasphorus scintilla

Scintillant Hummingbird

The Scintillant Hummingbird is the smallest hummingbird within its range (i.e. the Talamancan montane forests).

It is only 2.6 – 3.1 inches long, including the bill. Males weigh 2 grams and females 2.3 grams.

It is one of the smallest birds in existence, marginally larger than the Bee Hummingbird. Bill is black, short and straight.

Adult males have bronze-green upperparts and a rufous and black- striped tail. Throat is brilliant red, separated from the cinnamon underparts by a white neck band.

Females are similar to the males, but their throat is buff with small green spots and the flanks are richer rufous.

Young birds resemble the female but have rufous fringes to the upperpart plumage.

Call of this rather quiet species is a liquid "tsip".

Nectar, taken from a variety of small flowers, including Salvia and species normally pollinated by insects.

Like other hummingbirds it also takes some small insects as an essential source of protein.

Inhabits brushy forest edges, coffee plantations and sometimes gardens at altitudes from 900 – 2,000 meters, and up to 2,500 meters when not breeding.

Found only in Costa Rica and Panama.

The female is entirely responsible for nest building and incubation. She builds a tiny plant-floss cup nest 1–4 meters high in a scrub. She lays 2 white eggs and incubates for 15 – 19 days and fledging another 20 – 26 days.


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