Hummingbirds of Costa Rica

Costa Rica has 51 different species of hummingbirds. That’s a lot! In comparison, the U.S. Is only known to have 17 different species of hummingbirds and that number represents only 5% of the world’s total hummingbird species.
The Costa Rica hummingbirds produce various types of sounds and calls. They utilize these sounds to communicate among themselves. The male species of the Costa Rica hummingbirds with broad tails make a quavering sound with their thin feathers at the tips of their wings and the male species of Anna makes loud screeches with the feathers on their tails.
Besides producing sounds with the help of their feathers, Costa Rica hummingbirds also produce calls with their vocal organs. Using signs and gestures are alternative means of communication for Costa Rica hummingbirds.
The nests of these Costa Rica hummingbirds are as small as 50-cent coins. These nests are made up of minute particles of bark and cobwebs and are covered with silky plant parts. The female species of Costa Rica hummingbirds lay two tiny white eggs and keep them warm for 2-3 weeks.
Unlike adult Costa Rica hummingbirds, the tiny ones cannot live on sugar water and require the protein of insects. Moreover, the sugar water can cause harm to these birds. The mother birds arrange for tiny insects for the baby to eat. If the little Costa Rica hummingbirds get proper nutrition and appropriate climate they can start flying in a little above 15 days while some birds may even take a month’s time.
Exactly when the young hummingbirds will begin to fly may also be affected by the species these Costa Rica hummingbirds belong to. The tiny Costa Rica hummingbirds make their wings stronger by sitting on the edge of the nests before they can fly for the first time.
There are hardly any Costa Rica hummingbirds whose male species participate in building the nest or rearing the little ones.   This would seem to indicate that at least a few species in Costa Rica do participate in the nest building and raising of the young. This is different from any species of hummingbirds found in the U.S., because these do not have anything to do with the building of the nest or the rearing of the young. After the first 10 days the tiny Costa Rica hummingbirds are left to themselves for a major part of their time. The old nests are never utilized again. The small Costa Rica hummingbirds produce shrill sounds when not fed on time.
These Costa Rica hummingbirds require a lot of energy and therefore enter into a state of torpor, which reduces the pulse and the temperature to conserve energy. The duration of this slumber could be anything between 8 hours and 14 hours.

2 replies on “Hummingbirds of Costa Rica”

Zoe, When viewing the Costa Rico Hummingbird video, I noticed that some of the hummingbirds did not have the long sharp beak that we associate with hummingbirds….is this true, or was that a mistake on my part?


All hummingbirds have a beak, but the exact length and shapness of it will depend on the exact species of the hummingbird.

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