Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Coppery-headed Emerald (Elvira cupreiceps)


French: Colibri à tête cuivrée German: Bronzekopf-Elvirakolibri Spanish: Esmeralda capirotada

Eupherusa cupreiceps


, 1866,

Barranca, Costa Rica


This species has occasionally been awarded a monospecific genus, Lawrencius. Population of Cordillera de Guanacaste (N Costa Rica) probably deserves recognition as a separate race. Treated as monotypic.


Highlands of N & C Costa Rica: Caribbean slope, reaching Pacific slope in upper parts of N Cordillera de Guanacaste and N Cordillera de Tilarán. Recently recorded in Nicaragua#R.

Descriptive notes

7·5 cm; male 3·4 g, female 3·1 g. Distinctly decurved bill black except for pinkish base to mandible. Male has crown, uppertail-coverts and central... read more


Song a long series of single liquid chips and short trills “tslip...tslip...ts-tsrrr...tslip...ts-... read more


Cool, wet highland forests, forest edge, pastures with many remnant forest trees, shade coffee... read more

Food and feeding

Takes nectar from flowers of various trees (Quararibea, Pithecellobium, Guarea, Clusia), epiphytes (... read more


In wet and early dry seasons, Oct–Mar. During breeding season males form leks of 3–6. Nest a neat cup of treefern scales, plant... read more


Makes pronounced altitudinal movements, bulk of population descending to 300–600 m,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Costa Rica and Panama Highlands EBA. Common over most of range, which includes large protected areas... read more

Recommended citation

Stiles, F.G. & Boesman, P. (2019). Coppery-headed Emerald (Elvira cupreiceps). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 May 2019).