top of page

Recent Posts



Shining Beauty- The 12 Most Stunning Hummingbirds in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a fantastic destination for bird photography. Colorful, clownish toucans...flocks of bright red, yellow, blue, and green macaws...multiple tanagers naturally painted with a glowing palette... and the list goes on! Among that list of 900 plus bird species, we find another group of birds, one especially pleasing for the camera; the hummingbirds.

In stark contrast to the eastern USA and Canada; a large area with just one resident species of hummingbird, small Costa Rica has 53 species of these beautiful sprites on the nation's official bird list. While three of those species are very rare or vagrants, the remaining 49 are regularly seen at many suitable sites. As per usual for hummingbirds, most are also eye-catching, beautiful little birds but if we had to pick the most stunning dozen of the bunch, we would settle on the following fantastic birds.:

Black-crested Coquette

This exquisite little bird occurs in and near foothill rainforest. We find this and other coquettes by watching Porterweed bushes and the perches it uses near these and other flowering plants. On account of their small size, this and other tiny hummingbird species usually have to sneak in and "poach" from territories of larger species.

White-crested Coquette

This delicate beauty is endemic to southern Costa Rica and western Panama. It can be a challenging bird to find but we know several reliable spots for it.


What's better than a good pinot noir? Us birders would say a bird that looks like it was dipped in a glass of burgundy and then crowned with a dab of bright vanilla frosting. Another tough bird to see and one locally found from Honduras to western Panama, this species occurs in and near foothill rainforest at choice sites in Costa Rica.

Crowned Woodnymph

This glowing hummingbird is quite common in rainforest! We get pictures of it in gardens adjacent to rainforest at several key sites.

Green Thorntail

This small hummingbird is fairly common in foothill and middle elevation rainforest. We often show it to happy birders in the Arenal area and other sites on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.

Purple-throated Mountain-gem

This beautiful hummingbird is restricted to the cloud forests of Costa Rica and western Panama. Whether you see an orange-bellied female or a shining male, you and your camera will be smiling.

Fiery-throated Hummingbird

Although this large hummingbird of the highlands rarely shows its true colors, when it does, you might be at a loss for words!

White-bellied Mountain-gem

A local species of middle elevation habitats, this hummingbird sports a lovely combination of beryl, amethyst, and snow.

Talamanca Hummingbird

Nothing like seeing a big and beautiful hummingbird! This one is endemic to the high elevations of Costa Rica and Panama.

Violet Sabrewing

Another big and bold beauty, we watch sabrewings at many middle elevation sites.

White-necked Jacobin

A common lowland and foothill rainforest species, the males often show the bright white of their tails as they zip back and forth.

Scintillant Hummingbird

Saving the smallest hummingbird for last, the Scintillant Hummingbird looks as if it was made of etched copper sheeting. We show this bird to clients at key middle elevation and highland sites.

To see and photograph these and dozens of other hummingbird species in Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, and elsewhere, contact us today. We would love to hear about your dream birds; love talking about everything avian and helping people make their birding dreams come true.


bottom of page