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Species Guide

Mangrove Hummingbird

Amazilia boucardi

The Mangrove Hummingbird, Amazilia boucardi, is a diminutive avian jewel, measuring a mere 9.5 to 11 cm in length and tipping the scales at approximately 4.5 grams. This species is adorned with golden to bronze-green upperparts and flanks, while the males boast a resplendent bluish-green throat and breast, accented with white bars at the chin's termination. The belly is a subtle whitish hue, flanked by bronze-green, and the tail, slightly forked, gleams with a bronzy green, edged and tipped in blackish tones on the outer feathers. Females echo the males' plumage but with a more subdued green on the underparts and grayish tips on the outermost tail feathers. The immature birds are more grayish below, resembling the adult females.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Mangrove Hummingbird, look for the medium length, slightly decurved bill with a black maxilla and a reddish mandible with a dusky tip. The adult male's glittering bluish-green throat and the white bars near the end of the chin feathers are distinctive. The female and immature birds can be discerned by their less vibrant underparts and the grayish tips on the outer tail feathers.


This species is a denizen of the large stands of tea mangrove, Pelliciera rhizophorae, and occasionally ventures into adjacent terrestrial second growth. Its habitat preference is quite specific and localized.


The Mangrove Hummingbird is an endemic treasure of Costa Rica, found solely along the Pacific coast of this Central American nation. Its presence is sedentary, with a distribution that is not continuous.


The Mangrove Hummingbird is a nectarivore, primarily foraging at the blossoms of its namesake mangrove trees. It has also been observed partaking of the nectar from Inga, Heliconia, and Maripa plants in terrestrial forest clearings near mangroves. In addition to nectar, it supplements its diet with insects.

Song & Calls

The vocal repertoire of this species includes a "soft djt sound," a rapid, descending twitter that is quite subtle to the human ear.


Breeding season for the Mangrove Hummingbird spans from October to February. The female constructs a cup nest from balsa floss and other soft plant fibers, meticulously bound with spiderweb and camouflaged with lichens on the exterior. This nest is typically placed on a mangrove twig, hovering between 1 and 4 meters above the water. The female alone incubates the clutch of two eggs, though the duration of incubation and time to fledging remain mysteries.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the Mangrove Hummingbird as Endangered. With an estimated population of 1500 to 7000 mature individuals, the species faces a declining trend. Habitat destruction for salt evaporation, shrimp farming, charcoal production, and human settlement poses a significant threat, despite legal protections in Costa Rica. Additionally, road and dike construction, along with pollution, particularly from Puntarenas on the Golfo de Nicoya, have further degraded the mangrove habitat. Some small reserves do offer protection for this species' habitat.

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Mangrove Hummingbirds on Birda

A map showing the sighting location
Profile picture for Carlos Ulate
Carlos Ulate
12 May 2023 - 12:36pm
Costa Rica

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