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Microchera albocoronata


  • Order: Apodiformes
  • Family: Trochilidae
  • Polytypic 2 Subspecies

Authors: Kistler, Ethan, and Thomas S. Schulenberg

Microchera albocoronata

Costa Rica; 22 March 2011 © Glenn Bartley

Snowcap is a spectacular, tiny hummingbird of Central American cloud forests. The male is black overall, but with a unique purple or bronze iridescence on the upperparts. Its namesake white crown is brilliant and constrasts sharply with the dark body plumage. The female is less spectacular, but the combination of small size, green upperparts, clean white underparts, and extensive white in the outer rectrices contrasting with a dark terminal tail band is distinctive. This species feeds at all strata in humid montane evergreen forests from southern Honduras south to central Panama. Males sing from small leks at the edge of the forest during the breeding season.

Recommended Citation

Kistler, Ethan, and Thomas S. Schulenberg. 2013. Snowcap (Microchera albocoronata), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Elevational Migrant
  • Primary Habitat:Montane evergreen forest edge
  • Foraging Strata:Understory/Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:Probe
  • Diet:Nectar
  • Sociality:Solitary
  • Mating System:---
  • Nest Form:Cup
  • Clutch: 2 - 2
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern