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- Photo via Ministry of the Environment -

Costa Rica hummingbirds' national emblem

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Published on Wednesday, February 21, 2024
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In the first round of voting, Congress approved bill No.23.640, which designates two Costa Rican hummingbird species as "National Emblems of Wildlife."

With 44 lawmakers votes in favor and only one against, the new law will designate two of many hummingbird endemic species, the mangrove hummingbird (Amazilia boucardi) and the coppery-headed emerald (Microchera cupreiceps) as new nation's emblems to highlight the country's commitment to forest conservation, added the Congress.

Suppose the legislation is adopted in the second and final round of voting. In that case, it will require the Ministry of the Environment to ensure the proper conservation of the country's existing hummingbird populations by protecting their natural habitats.

The ministry is also mandated to implement all international laws and treaties governing the conservation and protection of hummingbird habitats.

Furthermore, the law directs the Ministry of Public Education to incorporate in its programs of learning emphasis on the importance of hummingbird conservation and habitat preservation.

The law also permits other government agencies, organizations, and private businesses to launch projects to protect hummingbirds and their environment.

It also authorizes the tourist Institute to use the hummingbird image in both domestic and international tourist promotion efforts.

According to a statement released by the Congress, Costa Rica has about 53 hummingbird species. These birds have varied specialized characteristics to enable rapid, maneuverable flight, exceptional metabolic capacity, adaptations to high altitude, sensitive visual and communication abilities. 

Male hummingbirds have the widest diversity of plumage color, particularly in blues, greens, and purples.

Hummingbirds are the smallest mature birds, measuring 7.5–13 cm (3–5 in) in length. 

Noted for long beaks, hummingbirds are specialized for feeding on flower nectar, but all species also consume small insects. 

Currently, Costa Rica has 19 national emblems, such as National Anthem, Guaria Morada flower (Cattleya skinneri), Guanacaste tree (Enterolobium ciclocarpum), Yiguirro bird (Turdus grayi), ox-cart and its driver, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), marimba musical instrument, National Torch, Chirripó mount, manatee (Genus trichechus), pre-Columbian native stone spheres, National Theater, coffee, Morpho butterfly (Helennor narcissus), Mascaradas, Costa Rica flag, Costa Rica seal, two-toed sloth (Choleopus hoffman) and the three-toed sloth (Barypus variegatus).


Which other bird should be proclaimed Costa Rica's national emblem?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com