Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Snowcap (Microchera albocoronata)


French: Colibri à coiffe blanche German: Schneekappenkolibri Spanish: Colibrí coroniblanco

Mellisuga albo-coronata


, 1855,

Belén, Veraguas, Panama


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. a. parvirostris (Lawrence, 1865) – Caribbean slope of S Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and probably extreme W Panama.
  • M. a. albocoronata (Lawrence, 1855) – WC Panama (Veraguas, Coclé), mainly on Caribbean slope.
  • Descriptive notes

    6–6·5 cm; male 2·5 g, female 2·6 g. Bill and feet black. Male has entire crown glistening white, throat glossed green, rest of head and underparts... read more


    Male song described as a soft, warbling medley with a sputtering quality, “tsitsup tsitsup tsitsup... read more


    Wet forest, forest edges, adjacent semi-open and second growth in foothills and lowlands; male more... read more

    Food and feeding

    Visits mostly small flowers of trees (Warscewiczia, Sickingia, Inga, Pithecellobium), shrubs (... read more


    Dry to early wet seasons (Jan–May) in Costa Rica; mid-Jun thought to represent end of local breeding season in SE Honduras. During... read more


    Descends to lowlands (regularly to 50–100 m, occasionally to sea-level) following breeding.... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. While deforestation is severe in many parts of range in Costa Rica, species remains locally common in others, such as the lower part of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Stiles, F.G. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Snowcap (Microchera albocoronata). 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 25 February 2020).