Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Scintillant Hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla)


French: Colibri scintillant German: Orangekehlelfe Spanish: Colibrí centelleante

Trochilus (Selasphorus) scintilla


, 1851,

Volcán de Chiriquí, 9000 feet [c. 2750 m], Panama


Probably closest to S. ardens. Described form S. underwoodii is a hybrid between present species and S. flammula. Monotypic.


Mountains from NC Costa Rica (Cordillera de Tilarán) to W Panama, principally on Pacific slope.

Descriptive notes

6·5–7 cm; male 2·1 g, female 2–2·3 g. Adult has short, straight, black bill. Male bronzy-green above, uppertail-coverts edged with rufous;... read more


Apparently no song is used in courtship or territory defence. Display-flight of male starts by... read more


Brushy forest edge, scrubby pastures, hedgerows, young second growth, coffee plantations and... read more

Food and feeding

Takes nectar from a variety of mostly small, often insect-pollinated flowers of shrubs and herbs (Salvia, Hyptis, ... read more


Wet and early dry seasons, Sept–Feb (Costa Rica). During breeding season male occupies territorial posts in trees or tall shrubs... read more


Outside breeding season may make limited altitudinal movements, sometimes moving upslope to c. 2500... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Costa Rica and Panama Highlands EBA. Scarce to locally common; has probably benefited... read more

Recommended citation

Stiles, F.G. & Boesman, P. (2020). Scintillant Hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla). 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 23 January 2020).