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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Talamanca Hummingbird Eugenes spectabilis

Ruth Partida-Lara and Paula L. Enríquez
Version: 1.0 — Published September 22, 2017



Flight is the only means of locomotion for Talamanca Hummingbird. Hovering flight is used for nectar foraging and forward flight is used for transportation and aggressive encounters. A combination of hovering and forward flight is used to capture arthropods. Uses the feet to scratch and the bill to groom feathers. The bill is cleaned by rubbing on branches.


Little quantitative information. In Costa Rica, territories are defended primarily when Cirsium thistles are in bloom (Wolf et al. 1976, Stiles and Skutch 1989).

Sexual Behavior

There is little information on sexual behavior in Talamanca Hummingbird. Talamanca Hummingbird presumably is polygynous, as are most if not all species of hummingbirds (Schuchmann 1999: 509). "Copulation has been observed on one occasion by F.G. Stiles, following a chase after which two birds "crashed into" a thicket of Rubus vaccinium: "The bird chased, a female, tried to fly but was forced down after a brief collision with her chaser, a male. She chattered and perched about 50 cm above ground inside the thicket. The male lit some 15–20 cm away and slightly above her, and sang the burbly [whisper] song for 15 s or more, leaning forward and with his nearly-closed bill pointing at the female; her bill was pointed directly at him. He had also been singing when he collided with the female and forced her down. The male then flew at the female and alighted on her back; she vibrated and dropped her wings and he buzzed his wings, probably for balance, as both twisted and vibrated their tails to achieve cloacal apposition. The male mounted for a total of about 7-8 s, of which perhaps half included actual cloacal contact. The female then flew abruptly out of the thicket, dislodging the male who chattered and followed her. I did not see the start of the chase, but it came from a direction in which a male held a territory at Cirsium about 50 m away" (Powers 2013).

Social and interspecific behavior

Like most species of hummingbird, Talamanca Hummingbirds typically are solitary.

Male Talamanca Hummingbirds are dominant over smaller species of hummingbirds, such as Volcano Hummingbird (Selasphorus flammula) and Lesser Violetear (Colibri cyanotus), and are codominant with Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) (Wolf et al. 1976).


Predators of adult hummingbirds include raptors (especially Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis, Tiny Hawk Accipiter superciliosus, and Merlin Falco columbarius), icterids, and large tyrannids (Miller and Gass 1985). There are no reported observations, however, of predation on Talamanca Hummingbird.

Recommended Citation

Partida-Lara, R. and P. L. Enríquez (2017). Talamanca Hummingbird (Eugenes spectabilis), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.maghum2.01