A tiny yet unmistakable hummingbird no bigger than a bumblebee.
Their shining snow-white cap stands out beautifully against a shimmering red wine, deep purple body.
Meet the Snowcap Hummingbird
The snowcap (Microchera albocoronata), is a tiny yet unmistakable hummingbird. The male is unique yet beautiful, his body the color of red wine, on his head a bright white cap.
Photo Courtesy of Milligold / CC BY-SA 4.0
Not quite as stunning as the male, the female is still quite striking with snowy white underparts and a short straight bill.
Her upper parts are a bronze-greenish color. Juveniles tend to look more like females of the species.
“File:Microchera albocoronata cropped.jpg” by Michael Woodruff from Spokane, Washington, USA is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
Snowcap hummingbirds are native to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, as well as western Panama. Though they are not easy to find, being very localized to their own areas.
These birds are found living high up in the canopy, along the wet edges of the forest, and in the adjacent woodland. They use their long, straw-like tongues, retrieving nectar from small flowers on vines, trees, and epiphytes. They hover, licking up the nectar 13 times per second. They also supplement their diets with small insects and spiders. A nesting female for instance is capable of eating 2,000 insects a day.
Photo Courtesy of Andy Reago & Chrissy McClallren / CC BY 2.0
During the breeding season, both males and females may mate with up to seven members of the opposite sex. After which, the female builds a small cup-shaped nest from plant fiber and cobwebs attached to a small twig or vine. She alone incubates the two eggs that she lays for up to two weeks, then feeds and takes care of the young when they hatch.
This bird is considered at least threat of immediate extinction, though there has been a decrease in numbers in Costa Rica.
“Snowcap(Microchera albocoronata)” by sussexbirder is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Watch this cute bird in the wild right here in the video below: