His sparkling orange throat is what sets him apart from everyone else.

It’s his fiery orange throat that distinguishes him from all other hummingbirds in his very limited range!

Meet Scintillant Hummingbird


“File:Scintillant Hummingbird (male) (8052508344).jpg” (cropped) by Matt MacGillivray from Toronto, Canada is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The scintillant hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla) is the smallest hummingbird within the range that it inhabits, averaging little more than 6.5 cm (2.6 inches) long. Male birds weigh around 2 grams (0.07 oz) while female birds weigh around 2.3 grams (0.08 oz). Male birds have bronze-green upperparts with a tail that is rufous in color and striped in black. His throat is fiery red, separated from a cinnamon chest and belly by a white neck band.


“Scintillant Hummingbird (female)” by qmnonic is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Female birds look similar to their male counterparts, though her throat is buff with small green flecks.

Juvenile birds tend to look more like female birds but have rufous fringes to their upper plumage.


“File:Selasphorus scintilla.jpg” by Len Blumin from Mill Valley, California, United States is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

This bird is endemic to and can be found in Costa Rica and Panama.


“Scintillant Hummingbird” by chaz jackson is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Scintillant hummingbirds can be found in and around brushy forest edges, coffee plantations, and sometimes gardens at altitudes from 900–2,000 m (3,000–6,600 ft), and up to 2,500 m (8,200 ft) when not breeding.


“Scintillant Hummingbird – Panama_H8O0781” by fveronesi1 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

They like to dine on nectar from a wide variety of brightly colored, scented flowers from trees, shrubs, herbs, and epiphytes, preferring fuchsia and salvia.


During the breeding season, the female alone builds a cup-shaped nest mostly out of plant fibers woven together and covered on the outside with moss for camouflage and placed in a protected location around 1-4 meters in scrubby areas. The interior is lined with softer plant fibers, animal fur, and feather down. An average clutch of two white eggs is laid within and incubated for around 15 to 19 days while the male protects the territory. She goes on to feed the chicks with regurgitated food who then go to leave the nest after they are 20 to 25 days old.


“File:Scintillant Hummingbird RWD2.jpg” by DickDaniels (http://carolinabirds.org/) is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Despite their limited range, these birds are regarded as of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.


“File:Selasphorus scintilla (female).jpg” by Jerry Oldenettel from Socorro, NM, USA is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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