Birds of Costa Rica
Humming Birds and Tanager
Of the 300 New World Hummingbird species Costa Rica harbors 54. Hummingbirds (Colibris) command a range of superlatives: they possess the highest metabolic rates known in the avian world. With up to 200 wing beats per second they are able to hover in the air and also fly backwards.
For their fast-paced lifestyle they need a continuous supply of flower nectar as a high-energy food, but they do also eat insects and small spiders to obtain proteins. Hummingbirds are invaluable as pollinators, especially of Costa Rica's wide range of Heliconias.
The most common hummingbird in Costa Rica is the Rufous-tailed Hummingbird seen on this picture where he feeds on a banana blossom.
The Blue-Gray Tanager is one of the most common song birds of Costa Rica. We use to call them banana birds because pairs of them instantly show up as soon as we put a banana on the feeding place. They like many kinds of fruit and berries, and also eat leaves and flowers.