Steely-vented Hummingbird


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The Steely-vented Hummingbird (Saucerottia saucerrottei) is a medium-sized hummingbird that is a resident breeder from western Nicaragua to Costa Rica, and also in Colombia and northwestern Venezuela. The Central American birds differ in voice and behavior from those in South America and may be a separate species, the Blue-vented Hummingbird, Saucerottia sophiae. Both forms are often placed in the Amazilia genus.

This hummingbird inhabits open woodland such as second growth, coffee plantations, gardens, savanna, and the edges and gaps of evergreen forests. It occurs from sea level up to 1800 m.

The nest is a cup of plant down and cobwebs, decorated outside with lichen and placed on a small outside twig 2-7 m high in a small tree. The female alone incubates the two white eggs.

The Steely-vented Hummingbird is 9 cm long and weighs 4.5 g. It is mainly bronze-green above, becoming more bronze on the wing, lower back and rump, and has a blue-black tail. The male has glittering green under  parts, white thighs and a blue vent. The female is is duller green below and has grey-buff edges to the vent feathers. Young birds are dull dark bronze-green below.

The Steely-vented Hummingbird has a a trilled descending chit call in South America, but the Blue-Vented form has a high sharp tsip. The male’s song in Costa Rica is a buzzy bzz WEEP wup.

This hummingbird feeds at many types of flowers, including epiphytes and Heliconias, and both sexes are aggressive and territorial, defending favored areas.


Steely-vented Hummingbird
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Saucerottia
Species: S. saucerrottei
Binomial name 
Saucerottia saucerrottei
(Delattre & Bourcier, 1846)


bullet Hilty, Birds of Venezuela, ISBN 0-7136-6418-5

bullet Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa Rica ISBN 0-0814-9600-4

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