Information on the biology of the short-crested coquette is limited. However, it is likely to have aspects in common with other members of the hummingbird family.
Hummingbirds as a group are accomplished hoverers, with wings that can move in a symmetrical figure-of-eight and beat up to 80 times per second (5) (6)
. Hovering provides stability, so that the bird can insert its specialised, tubular tongue deep into flowers and draw up the energy-rich nectar that it feeds on (7) . The short-crested coquette feeds specifically on the nectar of Inga and Cecropia flowers (2).
Hummingbirds have the highest energy output per unit weight of any warm-blooded animal, and therefore must feed regularly and abundantly to replace their energy supply (8)
. Foraging takes up most of a hummingbird’s daylight hours, and it consumes more than its body weight in food every day (7) .
To compensate for their high metabolic rate, hummingbirds are known to periodically go into a state of torpor during the night, especially when there is little available food or the weather conditions are unfavourable (7) (9) (10). By entering a deep, sleep-like state, hummingbirds are able to significantly slow-down their metabolic rate and maintain a very low body temperature (7)
Hummingbirds are typically aggressive birds and will dive-bomb intruders to defend breeding and feeding areas. They may even stab competitors with their needle-like bill to ward them off. However, once any chicks have fledged, they will often abandon a territory and move off to find a new feeding area (7)