Bronze head Elvira hummingbird

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Bronze head Elvira hummingbird
Bronze head Elvira hummingbird ♂

Bronze head Elvira hummingbird ♂

Class : Birds (aves)
Order : Sailor birds (Apodiformes)
Family : Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)
Tribe : Emeralds (Trochilini)
Genre : Elvira Hummingbirds ( Elvira )
Type : Bronze head Elvira hummingbird
Scientific name
Elvira cupreiceps
( Lawrence , 1866)

The bronze-headed Elvira hummingbird ( Elvira cupreiceps ) is a species of bird in the hummingbird family (Trochilidae) that is endemic to Costa Rica . It also seems to occur occasionally in Nicaragua. The IUCN assesses the population as Least Concern . The species is considered to be monotypical .


Bronze head Elvira hummingbird ♀

The bronze-headed Elvira hummingbird reaches a body length of about 7.5 cm with a weight of about 3.4 g for males and about 3.1 g for females. The clearly curved bill is black with the exception of the pink base on the lower bill. The male is copper-bronze on the upper head, tail-coverts and the central control feathers, the rest of the upper surface is bronze-green. The underside glitters green. The cesspool and the under tail-covers are white. The three lateral control springs are white with dark gray spots. The female has a green skull and back. The underside is matt white with green speckles on the side. The white outer control springs are traversed by an interrupted blackish ribbon. Males in the Cordillera de Guanacaste are distinguished by a distinct purple spot in the center of the lower chest. Male juveniles are dull bronze-green on the upper side, the top of the head is dull green with very little copper tint. Both sexes have cinnamon-colored fringes on the face feathers, neck and rump.

Behavior and nutrition

The bronze-headed Elvira hummingbird gets its nectar in forests from the flowers of various trees of the genus Quararibea , Pithecellobium , Guarea and Clusia as well as from epiphytes such as the heather family , Gesneria family or scrub like acanthus family and Besleria . He also flies Inga -Trees and Stachytarpheta -Gestrüpp near coffee plantations and secondary vegetation at. He hunts arthropods in flight, which he begins sitting on a branch. In addition, he collects insects from the leaves of all strata .


The breeding season of the bronze-headed Elvira hummingbird in Costa Rica is from October to March, so it ranges from the rainy season to the early dry season . During the breeding season, males sit in leks of three to five birds together. The nest is a small goblet built primarily from tree fern scales, plant waste and cobwebs. This is lavishly decorated with moss and lichen and attached 1 to 3 meters above the ground in the scrub or fern of the undergrowth in the forest, at the edges of the forest, along paths, river streams, etc. A clutch consists of two white eggs.


His singing is a long series of individual liquid Tschips and recently Getriller the like tslip ... tslip ... ts-ts-tsrrr ... tslip ... tsrrrrrr ... tslip .. sounds. This usually takes a few minutes and takes 10 to 20 seconds. It also makes repeated short, liquid, quiet or whirring tsirp sounds, as well as a quick high- pitched crackle during the hunt.

distribution and habitat

Distribution area of ​​the bronze head Elvira hummingbird

The bronze-headed Elvira hummingbird prefers cool, wet forests of the plateaus, forest edges, pastures with many tree populations, shady coffee plantations and old secondary vegetation. In forests, the males are mostly in the treetops, females tend to be in the undergrowth. Both sexes can be found in all strata at forest edges, semi-open areas and in secondary vegetation. It breeds mainly at altitudes between 700 and 1500 meters. Outside the breeding season, it is more common below these altitudes.


The bronze-headed Elvira hummingbird shows strong migratory movements at high altitudes. After the breeding season it moves to altitudes between 300 and 600 meters, occasionally even lower.

Etymology and history of research

The bronze head Elvira hummingbird was first described in 1866 by George Newbold Lawrence under the scientific name Eupherusa cupreiceps . The type specimen was collected by Julian Garnigohl Grasneck (1807–1885) near Barranca in Costa Rica. In 1866, Étienne Mulsant , Jules Verreaux and Édouard Verreaux led the new generic name Elvira . One can only speculate about the reason for the naming, as there is no reference to the origin of the name in the publication. In the same publication, the authors also mention the Cuban species Zephyritis (Calypte) elvirae , a name that is now synonymous with the bee elf . Since Mulsant emulated his role model Alphonse de Lamartine at the Lycée Lamartine in Belley , the name of his muse Julie Charles (1784–1817) could be dedicated, whom Lamartine idealized in his poem À Elvire . The species name »cupreiceps« is a Latin word formation from »cupreus, cyprium, cuprum« for »copper-colored, copper« and »-ceps, caput, capitis« for »-krönt, head«.


  • Frank Garfield Stiles III , Peter Boesman in: Josep del Hoyo , Andrew Elliott, Jordi Sargatal , David Andrew Christie , Eduardo de Juana: Coppery-headed Emerald (Elvira cupreiceps). In: Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive . Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  • James A. Jobling: Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names . Christopher Helm, London 2010, ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4 .
  • George Newbold Lawrence: Characters of seven New Species of Birds from Central and South America with a Note on Thaumatias chionurus, Gould . In: Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York . tape 8 , 1866, pp. 344-350 ( ).
  • Étienne Mulsant, Jules Verreaux, Édouard Verreaux: Essai d'une classification méthodique des trochilidés ou oiseaux-mouches . In: Mémoires de la Société impériale des sciences naturelles de Cherbourg (=  2 ). tape 2 , 1866, p. 152-242 ( ).
  • Arnould Locard: Étienne Mulsant, sa vie, ses œuvres . In: Mémoires de l'Académie des sciences, belles-lettres & arts de Lyon. Class des sciences . tape 25 , 1882, p. 259-309 ( ).
  • Jeffrey K. McCrary, Wayne J. Arendt, Liliana Chavarría, Lorenzo J. López, Pablo Antonio Somarriba, Pier-Olivier Boudrault, Aura L. Cruz, Francisco José Muñoz and Donald G. Mackler: A contribution to Nicaraguan ornithology, with a focus on the pine-oak ecoregion . In: Cotinga . tape 31 , no. 3 , 2009, p. 72–78 (English, [PDF; 133 kB ]).

Web links

Commons : Bronze-headed Elvira hummingbird ( Elvira cupreiceps )  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Jeffrey K. McCrary (2009) et al. a., p. 74.
  2. ^ IOC World Bird List Hummingbirds
  3. a b c d e f Frank Garfield Stiles III u. a.
  4. George Newbold Lawrence, p. 348.
  5. Étienne Mulsant et al. a., p. 176.
  6. Étienne Mulsant et al. a., p. 232.
  7. ^ Arnould Locard, p. 270.
  8. James A. Jobling, p. 125.


  1. The authors assigned the green Elvira hummingbird ( Elvira chionura ( Gould , 1851)) to the genus.