Coppery-headed emerald

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Coppery-headed emerald
Male Elvira cupreiceps at feeder - closeup.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Elvira
E. cupreiceps
Binomial name
Elvira cupreiceps
(Lawrence, 1867)
Elvira cupreiceps map.svg
Range of E. cupreiceps
A perched male
A female, near Monteverde

The coppery-headed emerald (Elvira cupreiceps) is a small hummingbird endemic to Costa Rica. It measures a mere 3 in (7.6 cm) in length, and weighs only 3 g (0.11 oz).[2] The male has distinctive coppery crown and rump with a whole green belly and white vent. The female has a white belly and a narrow black subterminal band on white outer rectrices of the tail. Its noticeably decurved bill sets it apart from similar the allopatric white-tailed emerald.

This species is fairly common at middle elevations on Caribbean Slope, south to Reventazon River; from 600 to 1,500 m (2,000 to 4,900 ft). Also it is fairly common on Pacific slope of Guanacaste and Tilarán Cordilleras; from 1,200 to 1,500 m (3,900 to 4,900 ft).

Like all hummingbirds, the coppery-headed emerald feeds on nectar and small invertebrates. Because its bill is short, it forages at small flowers, including those in the genera Besleria, Cavendishia, Clusia, Guarea, Pithecellobium, Quararibea and Satyria.[2] It feeds at all levels in mature wet montane forest and forest edges.

Males form small leks at middle levels of forest edges.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Elvira cupreiceps". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Henderson, Carrol L.; Adams, Steve (2002). Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-292-71965-1.
  • Garrigues, Richard; Dean, Robert (2007). The Birds of Costa Rica. Ithaca: Zona Tropical/Comstock/Cornell University Press. p. 250. ISBN 978-0-8014-7373-9.

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