Green Breasted Mango Hummingbird (Male)

Tiny Gems

This metallic gem was started while I was on my trip in Costa Rica. I packed more in art supplies than I did my clothes and toiletries! Staying at Rancho Naturalista (my second home every November for the past 3 years), I would wake up to the sound of dozens of strong helicopter-like hummingbird wings. They zipped all around me with such force that I was left wondering how these tiny things could make so much wind and noise! Their speed and versatility left me in awe and I was in heaven!

Scrolling through Instagram for green-breasted mangos, I stopped in my tracks when I saw an image by Jalil El Harrar. He had brilliantly captured a male showcasing their acrobatic abilities. I loved the sharpness of the details he captured, as well as the lighting and camera settings he used. With wings and tails fanned out and all of its feathers glistening, it was the perfect image I wanted to draw. Nervous to ask him, I asked anyway, and was giddy when he said “yes”!


There are five subspecies that live mostly in Central America, ranging from the coastal, southern parts of Mexico to the northern parts of South America. They’re most easily distinguished by the stripe down the centre of their throat and breast and have a slightly decurved bill. It’s diet consists of nectar from flowers as well as insects. Like a majority of the bird species, the male is more brilliant in colour than the female, which I will show in a future post titled “Romeo & Juliet”.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology labels these hummingbirds as “least concern” for conservation efforts. Their data have also revealed that green-breasted mangos like to live in semi-open, forest edge habitats. Although there was a comment that they “may benefit from deforestation” in the short-term, I believe that to maintain their population we should respect the natural habitats of all the species living in harmony.


Born in Morocco, Jalil first moved to Germany and then to Costa Rica after falling in love with birds, nature, and photography. He is a professional photographer with a brilliant gallery focusing on birds. He also holds photo-tour workshops throughout the country. Please visit his website or follow him on Instagram @jalil_el-harrar if you are interested in any of his images or photography tours.

Materials used: Faber-Castell Polychromos on Strathmore Bristol Vellum 100lb paper (11x14 inches)

This image is not for sale. Please contact me for commissions if you are interested, or please visit my wildlife gallery. Thank you!

This image is not for sale. Please contact me for commissions if you are interested, or please visit my wildlife gallery. Thank you!

Mel Unger