Steely-vented Hummingbirds (Amazilia saucerrottei) are common in open areas of scrubby, second growth forest, coffee plantations, gardens, and at the edges of forests in Costa Rica. These dazzling hummingbirds are at their most beautiful when seen in full sunlight because all the varying shades of their plumage have a shimmering, metallic iridescence that can only be seen in bright light.
Male Steely-vented Hummingbirds are mostly iridescent green with a flashing green gorget and an iridescent greenish bronze shading to a reddish bronze back. Both the wings and the tail are a dark, iridescent steel-blue color, and unlike the similar Blue-tailed Hummingbirds (Amazilia cyanura) (accidental visitors to Costa Rica), Steely-vented Hummingbirds do not have rufous in the secondary feathers of their wings.
Both male and female Steely-vented Hummingbirds are quite aggressive and territorial over their favorite flowering plants. This Steely-vented Hummingbird is perched overlooking his patch of flowers in a garden in Alajuela, and he has pollen on his beak from visiting his many prized flowers. The males will usually sing from these guard perches overlooking their flowers.