The Mangrove Hummingbird (Amazilia boucardi) is a medium-sized hummingbird, with green upperparts that grade to bronze on the tail. It has whitish underparts with green mottling at the breast and sides and a shining blue-green throat. The medium-length bill is slightly down-curved, with a dark-tipped reddish lower mandible. The slightly forked tail is dark brown. The female is similar to the male but has more white below with some blue markings on the sides of the throat. But this little gem is hard to spot.
The Mangrove Hummingbird feeds on insects and the nectar of a range of plants, including tea mangrove Pelliciera and Lonchocarpus. It also feeds on herbs, small spiders, shrubs, and epiphytes. The little bird also takes nectar from many other species of plants.
In the dry season, it ventures away from mangroves to the adjacent habitats to feed Inga and other trees such as Tabebuia ochracea and T. impetiginosa; it also hawks for mosquitoes. It is mainly found in coastal areas, mangroves, and sandbars; 0–350 ft (0–100 m).
The tiny cup-like nest is built from the soft plant material on top of a mangrove twig. Preferably made fluff from the balsa tree, cobwebs, and lichens. Normally, they built nests during the months of October till February. Usually, they built the nest in the branches of mangrove trees, just a few meters above the water.
A female mangrove hummingbird lays two eggs from Oct till February, which she does incubate alone. The male bird set up feeding territories, and use midair flights and intimidating displays to protect their territories. They chase aggressively large insects, i.e., hawks and bumblebees to defend the territory.
The population is very local to Costa Rica’s Pacific coast and is estimated at 2,500 to 8,000, which occurs in a restricted range only. Bird lovers and eco-tourists often visit the Osa to see and take photographs of the Mangrove Hummingbird. As this hummingbird is not found anywhere else in the world.
Mangrove Hummingbird call is soft, a little rapid, djtt vocals given in a descending Twitter.
Size / Length
The Mangrove Hummingbird is a medium size bird about 31⁄2–43⁄8 in (9–11 cm).
The average weight is about 4–5 g. The length of the bill of an adult is about 0.7 inches.
It is thought to be declining as a result of the clearance and degradation of the species’ mangrove habitat. Hence, it is considered an “Endangered species”. The major threats are the destruction of habitat loss or cutting off trees to make room for shrimp aquaculture, charcoal production, and road construction. Also, these activities are shrinking other species as well.
The mangrove hummingbird is a species in the family Trochilidae.
Snowy-breasted hummingbirds and White-bellied emeralds are often confused with mangrove hummingbirds.