Hummingbirds of Costa Rica

Hummingbirds are the smallest birds on the planet. There are 341 different types of hummingbirds in the world, and over 50 of them can be found in Costa Rica. However, only two of those species are completely endemic to Costa Rica.

The mangrove hummingbird is found only on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, in mangrove forests. It feeds almost exclusively on mangrove flowers. In 2008, the International Union for Conservation of Nature declared the mangrove hummingbird an endangered species. The main threat to this species is climate change. The rise in annual temperatures is causing sea levels to rise, which threatens this hummingbird’s habitat. In 2013, the American Bird Conservatory and Osa Conservation established the Yellow-Billed Cotinga Sanctuary, aimed at protecting mangrove forests and the species that reside there.

The coppery-headed emerald hummingbird is found only on the Caribbean highlands and Pacific highlands of Costa Rica. These hummingbirds prefer to live in cooler and wetter climates. Outside of the mating season, the females live at the canopy level while the males reside at the understory level. When it comes to feeding, however, they travel wherever the flowers are ripe.