Most beautiful small birds - Sykalo Eugen 2024

Costa's Hummingbird (Calypte costae)


  • Species name: Costa's Hummingbird
  • Scientific name: Calypte costae
  • Family: Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
  • Order: Apodiformes (Hummingbirds)
  • Subclass: Neornithes (Modern birds)
  • Class: Aves (Birds)


  • Size: Tiny, about 3-3.5 inches (7.6-8.9 cm) long with a wingspan of about 4.3 inches (11 cm).
  • Body shape: Slender and streamlined, with iridescent feathers and a long, notched tail.
  • Plumage color:

Males (breeding season): Striking contrast of emerald green body with a shimmering blue throat (gorget), bright red bill tipped in black, and black wings and tail edged in white.

Females and non-breeding males: Dull green above, grey-white underparts, and a dark, less defined bill.

  • Beak: Long, straight, and delicate, red with a black tip, perfect for extracting nectar from flowers.
  • Legs: Thin and black.
  • Tail: Long and deeply notched in the center, often fanned during hovering.


  • Method of feeding: Hovers in front of flowers to extract nectar with its long bill. Also catches small insects mid-air.
  • Reproduction: Builds cup-shaped nests on branches or vines. Lays 2 white eggs with dark markings. Both parents care for the young.
  • Movement: Mostly resident in its range, with some dispersal in response to food availability.
  • Communication: High-pitched chirps and whistles. Males sing to defend territory and attract mates.


  • Habitat: Open woodlands, canyons, scrublands, and gardens with abundant flowers.
  • Diet: Primarily nectar from various flowers, but also small insects like gnats and spiders.
  • Hunting methods: Hovers at flowers, dips its bill into blossoms, and catches insects mid-air using its agile flight maneuvers.

Distribution: Found in Mexico and the southwestern United States, from southern Arizona and New Mexico to southern Mexico.

Costa's Hummingbird

Don't underestimate the emerald gem flitting amidst blooms—the Costa's Hummingbird is a feathered marvel packed with surprising skills and hidden secrets beneath its iridescent plumage. Get ready to be captivated by this tiny titan of the skies:

Master of Metamorphosis: Unlike most birds, Costa's Hummingbirds undergo a dramatic seasonal wardrobe change. Their winter coat is a modest brown, offering camouflage when resources are scarce. But come spring, they transform into dazzling displays of iridescent purple and emerald, ready to attract mates and defend territory. Think of them as feathered chameleons with built-in costume kits!

Aerial Acrobats Extraordinaire: Hovering at lightning speed, darting through tight spaces, and even flying backwards—these are just a few tricks in the Costa's Hummingbird's repertoire. Their incredibly agile wings beat up to 80 times per second, allowing them to maneuver with unmatched precision, making them the aerial acrobats of the hummingbird world.

Melody Masters: Their tiny size doesn't hinder their vocal prowess. Costa's Hummingbirds serenade their mates and rivals with complex songs and intricate calls. They can chirp, whistle, buzz, and even mimic other birds, creating a diverse avian orchestra in the heart of the flowerbeds.

Hidden Food Feats: Costa's Hummingbirds aren't just sipping nectar like most hummers. They have adapted to reach hidden treats, using their long, curved beaks to pry open tubular flowers like honeysuckle and even extract insects from deep within blooms. It's like watching feathered jewel thieves with built-in flower picks!

Unexpected Defenders: Don't let their size fool you; Costa's Hummingbirds are fierce defenders of their territory. They chase away much larger birds, including hummingbirds of other species, with daring chases and dive-bombing attacks. Imagine them as feathered miniature knights with built-in aerial jets!

Symbiotic Symphony: These tiny titans play a vital role in the ecosystem. By pollinating flowers as they feed, they ensure the survival of numerous plant species, creating a beautiful dance of life between feathered jewels and floral feasts.

Hidden Vulnerability: Despite their resilience, Costa's Hummingbirds face threats like habitat loss, competition for resources, and climate change. Conservation efforts are crucial to ensure these iridescent wonders continue to grace our gardens and meadows for generations to come.

Unexpected Intelligence: Recent research suggests Costa's Hummingbirds might be smarter than we thought. They have been observed using problem-solving techniques to reach food and even remembering the location of hidden resources. Talk about feathered Einsteins with built-in miniature brains!