Neotropical Birds logo
Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Scintillant Hummingbird Selasphorus scintilla

Christopher J. Clark
Version: 1.0 — Published February 10, 2011

Diet and Foraging

Welcome to Birds of the World!

You are currently viewing one of the free accounts available in our complimentary tour of Birds of the World. In this courtesy review, you can access all the life history articles and the multimedia galleries associated with this account.

For complete access to all accounts, a subscription is required.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in


Like all hummingbirds, feeds on insects as well as flowers. Nectar from flowers likely to provide the bulk of calories. Short bill and small size are adaptations to feed on small low-yield flowers including numerous insect-syndrome flowers. Arthropods caught on the wing in typical hummingbird fashion, with perched bird suddenly sallying to catch one or more tiny flying insects. Not known to glean insects from foliage.

Feces are primarily of excess water acquired from nectar, and hard pellets of arthropod exoskeleton.

Flowers that the Scintillant has been seen visiting include (arranged by reference): Rubus rosifolius (page 12), Vaccinium poasanum (18), Impatiens walleriana (37), Stachytarpheta frantzii (39), Palicourea lasiorrhachis (67), Gonzalagunia rosea (140), Elleanthus glaucophyllus (141), Vaccinium poasanum (141), Clusia sp, Rubus sp. (Fogden and Fogden 2006); Salvia sp, Lantana sp, Hyptis sp, and Stachytarpheta sp (Stiles and Skutch 1989); Fuchsia sp (Clark et al. 2011); and Yucca sp (Wetmore 1968).  This list is likely a small fraction of the species visited by the Scintillant Hummingbird.

Foraging Behavior

Recommended Citation

Clark, C. J. (2011). Scintillant Hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.scihum1.01