Humboldt's Sapphire Hylocharis humboldtii

  • © Trevor Ellery

Previously grouped with the Blue-headed Sapphire (Hylocharis grayi), the Humboldt’s Sapphire is now considered its own species. This sapphire prefers mangroves, wet secondary growth, and the edges of forests along the Pacific coast. Humboldt’s Sapphires most commonly visit Pelliciera flowers, but also gather nectar from elsewhere or hawk and glean for insects. When foraging atop a flowering tree, these sapphires tend to act aggressively towards other hummingbirds. They rarely (if ever) overlap with the similar Blue-headed Sapphire  since the Blue-headed inhabits regions between 500-2000 meters in elevation and the Humboldt’s remains below 50 meters. The blue of the head is also limited to the forehead and center of the throat for the Humboldt’s Sapphire, and it has a shorter bill than does the Blue-headed. Females of these similar species are told apart by the whiter underparts of Humboldt’s females.

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Recommended Citation

Humboldt's Sapphire (Hylocharis humboldtii), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: