The Green-fronted Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula) is a large (~11 to 13 cm) hummingbird that is found from Costa Rica south to western Ecuador. Geographic variation across this range has led to the recognition of several subspecies. The Green-fronted Brilliant is locally common in Costa Rica and Panama (much less common and more local in Colombia), occurring in the mid-understory up to the canopy of wet subtropical and cloud forest as well as in adjacent semi-open and old second growth in mountains and foothills (from several hundred to 2000 m). These hummingbirds frequently take nectar from the pipe-shaped inflorescence bracts of Marcgravia and from Heliconia, as well as from other epiphytes in the Ericaceae and Gesneriaceae and from flowering shrubs such as Drymonia and Cephaelis. These birds typically perch on the inflorescence when feeding from flowers. Males may defend large clumps of Marcgravia or Heliconia. Insects and spiders are captured both from the air and by foliage gleaning. In Costa Rica, at least, the Green-fronted Brilliant is a seasonal altitudinal migrant, with most of the population moving to lower elevations outside the breeding season, sometimes to as low as 100 m. (Stiles and Skutch 1989; Schuchmann 1999 and references therein) Despite the relative abundance of this bird in Costa Rica, the first known Green-fronted Brilliant nest in Costa Rica was not discovered until 1999, resulting in the first published description of the nest of this species (Sánchez et al 2000).
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