Magnificent Hummingbird

Magnificent Hummingbird

The Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens) is a large hummingbird that breeds in mountains from the southwestern United States to western Panama. It is the only member of the genus Eugenes, although the northern subspecies E. f. spectabilis has on occasion been separated from the larger nominate race of Costa Rica and Panama as Rivoli's Hummingbird, E. spectabilis.

This bird inhabits the edges and clearings of montane oak forests from about 2000 m to the timberline. It is 13 cm long. The male weighs 10 g and the female 8.5 g. The black bill is long and slightly curved. Both sexes look very dark unless the sun catches the iridescence of the plumage and the brilliant colors flash in the sunlight.

The adult male has a green-bronze dorsal, becoming more bronzed on the black-tipped tail. The crown is violet, the throat gorget bright blue, and the rest of the head is black apart from a white spot behind the eye. The chest is green-bronze and the belly greyish.

The female Magnificent Hummingbird has a bronze-green dorsal and a dull grey ventral coloring. There is a white stripe behind her eye. Immature birds are like the female, but darker and browner.

The female is entirely responsible for nest building and incubation. She lays two white eggs in her bulky cup nest about 3 m up near the tip of a descending branch stem. Incubation takes 15-19 days, and fledging another 20-26.

The food of this species is nectar, taken from a variety of flowers, and some small insects. Magnificent Hummingbird males perch conspicuously and defend their feeding territories aggressively. The call of this species is a guttural drrrk.


  • Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa Rica ISBN 0-8014-9600-4

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