This is a common to abundant bird of montane forest canopy above 1400 m, and also occurs in scrub at the woodland edges and clearings.
This bird is 11cm long and weighs 5.7 g. It has a straight black bill and dusky feet.
The adult Fiery-throated Hummingbird has shiny green body plumage, a blue tail, and a white spot behind the eye. It often looks dark, but when the light catches it at the right angle, it shows a brilliant blue crown, yellow-bordered bright orange throat, and blue chest patch. The sexes are similar, but young birds have rufous fringes to the head plumage. The call is a high-pitched twittering.
The female Fiery-throated Hummingbird is entirely responsible for nest building and incubation. She lays two white eggs in a bulky plant-fibre cup nest 2-4 m high at the end of a descending bamboo stem or on a rootlet under a bank. Incubation takes 15-19 days, and fledging another 20-26.
The food of this species is nectar, taken from a variety of small flowers, including epiphytic Ericaceae and bromeliads. Like other hummingbirds it also takes small insects as an essential source of protein. Male Fiery-throated Hummingbird defend flowers and scrubs in their feeding territories, and are dominant over most other hummingbirds. They will, however, allow females to share their food resources.
Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa Rica ISBN 0-8014-9600-4