Puerto Rican Emerald (Riccordia maugeaus)

Puerto Rican Emerald


The Puerto Rican emerald (Riccordia maugeaus), or zumbadorcito de Puerto Rico in Spanish, is an endemic hummingbird found only in the archipelago of Puerto Rico.

Distribution And Habitat

The Puerto Rican Emerald is a hummingbird endemic to Puerto Rico and relatively common in most of the main island, except on the east coast, Culebra, and Vieques (Oberle 2018). It is absent from satellite islands except Vieques where it was first documented in 2003 and is considered a rare visitor (Gemmill 2015). This hummingbird occurs in mountain forests, shade coffee plantations, lowland wooded areas including dry coastal habitats, mangroves, and gardens (Gemmill 2015, Oberle 2018, Raffaele and others 1998). The atlas fieldwork yielded a total of 200 records within 137 hexagons or 29 percent of the 479 total hexagons (see map). Of the 137 hexagons where the Puerto Rican Emerald was found, breeding met the atlas definition of confirmed in 11 percent (15) of the hexagons, probable in 7 percent (10), and possible in 82 percent (112) (see map). Puerto Rican Emerald distribution. The map shows the highest breeding code by hexagon and overlaying the ecological life zones in Puerto Rico. Note: percentages may not total 100 due to rounding.

Puerto Rican Emerald Distribution

Breeding Habits

The Puerto Rican Emerald builds a cup-shaped nest made of soft fibers (including spider webs) coated with lichens (Raffaele 1989a). Previously published reports indicate that it breeds 87Puerto Rican Emerald/Zumbadorcito de Puerto Ricoprimarily from February to May but also irregularly throughout the year (Raffaele and others 1998). Atlas results suggest that this species breeding season extends throughout the year, with the most breeding activity from March through June (see chart). Overall, the breeding activity peaks in April, and it mostly occurs in the subtropical moist forest life zone. Results show that this species breeds throughout most of the island, mainly within the subtropical moist forest life zone (47 percent of the hexagons) (see table). It also breeds within subtropical wet and lower montane wet forest life zones at higher elevations (33 percent of the hexagons), as well as in the subtropical dry forest life zone (20 percent of the hexagons) (see table and map).


The overall population size of the Puerto Rican Emerald has not been quantified, but this species is described as common and is listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN (BirdLife International 2016). Locally, it is not listed in any of the threatened categories used by PRDNER and USFWS. In Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican Emerald has a protected habitat in land of 15 percent or 502 km2 of the total area covered by the hexagons where evidence of breeding was found for this species (3278 km2).