Snowcap Microchera albocoronata

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Trochilidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Ethan Kistler and Thomas S. Schulenberg



Snowcap forages from the understory to the canopy (Slud 1964, Stiles and Skutch 1989). Gleans arthropods from foliage; male Snowcaps also sally for flies and gnats (Stiles 1999).


Male Snowcaps defend feeding territories against other Snowcaps, but are subordinate to larger species of hummingbird (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

Sexual Behavior

Little information. Snowcap probably is polygynous. Males sing is small (3-6 individuals), loose leks at forest edge (Stiles and Skutch 1989, Stiles 1999). Each male sings from one or more regularly used perches, on exposed twigs 4-8 m above the group, and frequently engage in chases (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

Social and interspecific behavior

Snowcap usually is solitary, as is typical of hummingbirds, except when males congregate in singing groups during the breeding season (see Sexual Behavior).

Recommended Citation

Kistler, E. and T. S. Schulenberg (2013). Snowcap (Microchera albocoronata), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.