Hummingbirds are one of the most beautiful species in the bird family. Whoever sees pictures of these birds, remains stunned. Social media has picked on this recently and people have started admiring this species more than ever. Some are so unbelievably beautiful that people refuse to believe this picture is real. They think it is photoshopped. That is understandable because we can never imagine something so beautiful. Today we will be talking about a very beautiful hummingbird called snowcap.
Snowcap is a beautiful and unique hummingbird. While most hummingbirds look like they were sent from a fairyland, the colors and the outlook of a snowcap screams fierce. Its feathers look like someone spilled red wine on with hints of yellow in some of the feathers. The ends of the feathers look like they were dipped in galaxy purple and black ink. It has a tiny white crown right above its beak and between the two jet-black eyes. The white cap on their head looks so clean, it seems like the hummingbird takes a bath every hour.
It will stun you to know the size of this magnificent bird. It is as small as a bumblebee. Yes, it is that small. However, its size still does not affect the spotlight that it steals every time it’s in a crowd. In any crowd it stands, snowcap steals the show completely with its breathtaking feathered filled with beautiful colors. Its galaxy-colored coat mixed with spills of red wine can take anyone’s breath away. These tiny creatures are too gorgeous to be real. Such creatures only used to exist in our fantasy movies.
Watch the video below to see snowcap living and thriving!
Wow, how can something so little be so breathtakingly beautiful? The little white cap is so clear and white, it feels like there is a flash of lights in front of my eyes.
There are two little birds shown in the video. The first one, with red-wine and ebony-colored feathers, is a male. The second with bronze-green shades of feathers is female. Female snowcap has stunning green shades of feathers. It also has a splash of turquoise on its feathers that shines brightly at any time of the day, but sunlight makes it appear like beach water glistening under the sun. The female snowcap also has a dull-white outer tail. Adult female snowcap has the most white feathers underneath the upper feathers than other female hummingbirds. Younger female snowcaps look very similar to the female adult ones, but their central feathers are more on a bronze side with greyer feathers underneath. Some people say that female snowcaps look like they are frowning with their glaring looks.
Snowcaps are particularly found in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and western Panama. They are resident breeders to these places. They are distributed across the corners of wet forests and have a canopy as their habitat. They prefer areas that are mostly with trees and have more wood. They prominently breed at a higher height of around 300-800 m on Caribbean mountain slopes. But soon after giving birth to their hatchlings, most snowcaps move to lower areas but few flies up to 1400 m.
Snowcap hummingbirds mainly feed on the nectar of the smaller flowers that spring up on vines, shrubs, trees, herbs, and epiphytes. These flowers are scented and bright in their colors. They prefer to feed on flowers that are higher in their sugar content. These flowers are usually red in color. Hummingbirds are very aggressively territorial about the areas that have flowers with high-energy nectar. They feed on the nectar through their extendible tongues to extract the nectar. They lick at least 13 times per second on the flower to such in the nectar. They often do this while hanging on the flower too.
Other than flowers, hummingbirds also consume small spiders as well as insects. Insects and spiders provide essential proteins to hummingbirds that greatly benefit them when they are breeding. Sufficient protein is needed to ensure the required development of the hatchlings. Hummingbirds prey on insects while they are flying around. A female hummingbird who is nesting can catch around 2000 insects in a day.
Just like other animals, in the hummingbird family too a female chooses her mates. Male become very aggressive during this process and follow the females when they lead them to their nests. That is when males confess to mating loudly and or initiate courtship. Pointing at their bills is a common method females adopt to hint a male hummingbird that they’re interested. In case they are not interested in mating, she flies away.
Hummingbirds are known to be solitary in nature and do not travel in flocks. They live and nest on their own. In terms of having partners, male hummingbirds only play a role in the reproduction process and are not involved any further. They mate with the females during the breeding season when they are shown interest. They even sing for them to show them off. However, hummingbirds do not remain partners for long. Males and females part after mating.
Nesting is done interestingly among the hummingbirds. Female snowcaps build a nest shaped like a cup. They wove fibers together to build the nest. To ensure security, they even cover it with green moss for camouflage. These nests are made in shrubs, trees, or bushes. The nests need to be well-constructed and not lose, so to give them a good hold, spider web or any other tacky material is utilized. This allows the nest elasticity to stretch if needed and not break. Lack of elasticity will break the nest if there is any slight pressure on it. An average hummingbird births two offspring during pregnancy and after those white eggs are placed in the nest, they are incubated for only over two weeks. During that process, males secure his territory and the flowers he consumes nectar from. The hatchlings are born without sight and are also immobile. Since protein from the nectar is not sufficient for the proper growth of the chicks, females feed partially chewed food to the chicks. Since the chicks are not capable of doing it themselves, the mothers push the food down the chicks’ throats to ensure it has reached their stomachs.
Snowcap hummingbirds are so beautiful at sight and their unique way of living in comparison to other birds makes them even more interesting. One is left speechless after seeing their picture. It is hard to keep your eyes off their magnificent feathers. Aren’t wild-life photographers the luckiest people in the world? They get to see and be in presence of such breathtakingly beautiful creatures.
Did you learn anything new from this article? Let us know if you read something you did not already know or if you would like to add something more to this!