While Canadians will easily (and rightly) get excited about seeing a single hummingbird from the handful of species available, Costa Rica is home to 52 different species. Not only are there a great variety of them to see, but their high energy requirements make them easy draws to hummingbird galleries, which are delightfully frequent places across the country. We visited at least 3 galleries, each of which had a dozen or more feeders which were each attracting several hummingbirds.
One of the most common were Coppery-Headed Emeralds like the one below, which measure in at a tiny 3 inches long. All hummingbirds are pretty small and VERY fast moving, but with a little bit of patience and luck you can get some very nice posed portraits when they land on branches nearby to rest between trips to the feeders.
At the larger end of the spectrum, the Violet Sabrewing is one of the biggest hummingbird in Costa Rica with a monstrous length of 6 inches. That may not seem to big without context, but when there are dozens of these birds zipping in all directions and speeds they seem pretty enormous and loud.
Kathryn and I were both so enchanted with the color and variety of the hummingbirds of Costa Rica that the next post will share a few more of our favorite pictures of these charismatic little fellows.