The 9 cm long, 3.5 g weight male Magenta-throated Woodstar is unmistakable with its magenta throat separated by a white collar from the green chest and flanks. The back is green and the belly is rufous. There are white rump patches, and the black-tipped tail is long and forked.
The female is 3 cm long and lacks the male’s long tail. Her plumage is generally like the male’s but her throat is grey-buff instead of magenta, and the tail sides are rufous. Immature birds are like the female, but paler below and with buff fringes to the upperparts plumage.
The male gives a diving display flight alone or in loose groups. His song is a spluttering gurgle, and the call a drychi or territorial chrrrrt.
These birds usually visit flowers of herbs, trees and scrubs for nectar, cocking their tails as they feed.
Male in Costa Rica
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A guide to the birds of Costa Rica by Stiles and Skutch ISBN 0-0814-9600-4
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