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Blue-vented Hummingbird

Saucerottia hoffmanni

The Blue-vented Hummingbird, Saucerottia hoffmanni, is a diminutive avian jewel, measuring a mere 8 to 11 centimeters in length and tipping the scales at an average of 4.45 grams. This species exhibits sexual dimorphism, with both sexes sporting a straight bill; the maxilla is blackish while the mandible is a striking coral-red with a dark tip.

Identification Tips

Adult males are resplendent with golden-green upperparts and a rump that shimmers with coppery to purplish hues. Their underparts are a dark, glittering golden-green, transitioning to greenish or steel blue undertail coverts. The tail is a pale steel blue with a subtle fork. Females are similar but present a duller green on the lower breast and belly, with throat feathers displaying white bars near the end and grayish-buff edges on the vent area feathers. Juveniles can be distinguished by their darker, duller green underparts and grayish-brown belly, with a darkish gray throat and brown-edged back and rump feathers.

Habitat

The Blue-vented Hummingbird is a denizen of semi-open landscapes, including scrublands, savannas, forest edges, secondary forests, and gardens. It shows a preference for drier habitats, though it seeks out moister areas during the dry season.

Distribution

This species is known to inhabit the regions from southern Nicaragua to central Costa Rica, ranging from sea level to elevations of up to 1,800 meters.

Behaviour

Local movements of the Blue-vented Hummingbird are noted, seemingly in response to the flowering events of the flora in its habitat.

Feeding

A nectarivore, the Blue-vented Hummingbird frequents a diverse array of plants, vines, shrubs, and trees, rarely venturing above the canopy of small trees. It fiercely defends its feeding territories and supplements its diet with insects, which it adeptly snatches in flight or occasionally plucks from the water's surface.

Breeding

Details on the breeding habits of the Blue-vented Hummingbird are scarce, but it is known that the breeding season extends from December to April. The species constructs a cup-shaped nest from plant down and cobwebs, adorned with lichen on the exterior. Nests have been observed on dead Cecropia branches and Ficus vines.

Vocalization

The Blue-vented Hummingbird's song is a distinctive buzzy, squeaky phrase "tzi-tzee-tzup," occasionally followed by lower-pitched notes. Its calls are characterized by a high, sharp "tsit" or a dry "chit," which may be delivered in rapid succession.

Conservation status

The IUCN has not assessed the Blue-vented Hummingbird separately from the broader category of the steely-vented hummingbird sensu lato, following the taxonomy of HBW.

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Blue-vented Hummingbirds on Birda

Photos
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A photo of a Speckled Hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys)

Speckled Hummingbird

Adelomyia melanogenys
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