Antillean Crested Hummingbird

The Antillean crested hummingbird (Orthorhyncus cristatus) is a species of hummingbird in the family Trochilidae. You will most likely see these tiny birds fluttering around a variety of native flowers, eating nectar, although they also eat insects. They use absurd amounts of energy by moving their wings so fast, that is the reason they need to eat all day. Otherwise, they would starve due to the loss of too many calories.

Their common family name is derived from the distinct humming sound that their fast beating wings make (their wings can beat as fast as 80 beats per seconds). The cup nest is placed on a branch in vegetation.


Distribution and Origin

These hummingbirds are found locally on St. Maarten and is only found in the Caribbean. Naturally found in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, typically below 500m. It’s subspecies exilis can be found in the Northen Lesser Antilles and in the United States.


This hummingbird’s diet consists of nectar and arthropods, invertebrate animals. Antillean Crested Hummingbirds generally feed from lower parts of hedges and large flowing trees, also including hibiscus.


The Antillean Crested Hummingbird breeds all year round, with the highest amount of breeding from March to June. Its nests are small and cup-shaped, usually built on thin branches of shrub or vines 1-3 meters (3-10 feet) above the ground. The eggs are very small, and are incubated for 17-19 days. Antillean Crested Hummingbirds will begin to breed in their second year.

Conservation Status

The Antillean Crested Hummingbirds is not globally threatened. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN list, and is listed on the CITES II.