MOUNTAINS GROUP
San Gorgonio Chapter

 

 

Hummingbirds

There are six Hummingbird species in our mountains: Allen's - Anna's - Black-Chinned - Calliope - Costa's - Rufous

They are all of Trochilidae family. The name comes from the Greek trochilos which means a small bird. (Operation Rubythroat.)

All six species are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Hummingbirds are important pollinators of many flowers.

If you want to attract hummingbirds to your garden visit the see the Hummingbird Net for some important do's and don'ts for feeding hummingbirds and on planting a hummingbird garden.


allen's hummingbird

Selasphorus sasin

Allen's hummingbird, male

Male.

Photo credit: Naturesdisplay

Dreamstime.com

allen's hummingbird, female

Female

Photo credit: Naturesdisplay

Dreamstime.com

Allen's Hummingbird does not breed here but may visit as a fall migrant in late summer. It migrates earlier than most other birds and arrives at its breeding grounds along the California coast in January to March.

The trip south also begins early. and Allen's Hummingbirds are most likely to traverse the San Bernardino Mountains in July through August.

Allen's Hummingbird feeds on flower nectar tree sap and small insects.

The adult male is smaller than the female and has metallic green head and back, coppery-red throat and rust colored sides. The adult female has rust colored back and sides, white breast and white throat with red spots. It is very difficult to differentiate from female Rufous Hummingbirds. Juveniles of both sexes look like the adult female.

Allen's Hummingbird is listed on the Audubon Watchlist. Threats include habitat loss, pesticides and replacement of native plants by invasive plants. Land use changes could wipe out large numbers.

Length:  3.5 inches, wingspan: 4.3 inches

Season: Migrant

Status: On Audubon's watchlist, otherwise listed as Least concern

More info, sounds and map: enature - all about birds - hummingbird net - animal diversity web - internet bird collection - CDFG


anna's hummingbird

Calypte anna

Anna;s hummingbird, female and male

Female and male

Photo credit: Naturesdisplay / Dreamstime.com

 

Anna's hummingbirds feed on nectar from many flowering plants, pollen, plant sap, spiders and small insects, which they catch flight or pick from leaves. They eat more insects than other hummingbirds and sometimes plucks insects from spiderwebs.

Anna's Hummingbirds are summer residents in the mountains. During the on-breeding season they move down the hill where they are year-long residents.

Both the male and the female have metallic green backs; the male has dark rose-red crown and throat and grayish chest. The female has grayish-white stomach and spotted throat with a patch of red spots in the middle.

Length:  3.9 inches, wingspan: 4.7 inches

Season: Summer

Status: Least concern

More info, sounds and map: enature - all about birds - hummingbird net - animal diversity web - internet bird collection - CDFG

 


black-chinned hummingbird

Archilochus alexandri

Black-chinned hummingbird, female

Female

Photo source: iStockphoto

Blackchinned hummingbird

Male

Photo credit: Rinusbaak

Dreamstime.com

Breeds on flatlands and in the foothills, but may move up to an altitude of 8,500 feet after the breeding season.

Arrives at breeding areas in April. Departs in July to August for wintering grounds in Mexico.

The male is green on the back, with shining black chin and a violet-purple throat band. The female is also green on back but has a white throat and breast and tan to light brown sides.

It lives in mountain meadows, woodlands, canyons, chaparral, and orchards.

The Black-Chinned Hummingbird's heart beats an average of 480 beats per minute. On cold nights the bird goes into torpor, and the heart rate drops to 45180 beats per minute. The eggs are about the size of a coffee bean.

Length:  3.5 inches, wingspan: 4.3 inches

Season: Summer in foothills, at higher altitudes after breeding and before migration to the south.

Status: Least concern

More info, sounds and map: enature - all about birds - hummingbird net - animal diversity web - internet bird collection - CDFG


calliope hummingbird

Stellula calliope

Calliope hummingbird, male

Male

Photo credit: Naturesdisplay

Dreamstime.com

Calliope hummingbird, female

Female

Photo credit: Naturesdisplay

Dreamstime.com

The Calliope Hummingbird is a common California summer resident and breeds in the San Bernardino mountain range.

Although it sometimes breeds at elevations down to 600 feet, it is primarily a mountain bird with a preferred range of 4,000 to 11,000 feet elevation.

The Calliope Hummingbird migrates to Mexico for the winter.

It drinks nectar from many flowering  plants, as well as tree sap, plucks small insects and spiders from flowers and leaves, and catches insects in flight.

Often nests in pine forests, and prefers cool areas with temperatures from 33 to 77 F.

The Calliope Hummingbird is on the Audubon Watchlist. Threats include habitat loss, pesticides, and replacement of native plants by invasive plants. The restricted wintering range of Calliope Hummingbird makes it susceptible to natural disasters, diseases and land use changes that could wipe out large portions of the population

Length: 3.5 inches, wingspan: 4.3 inches

Season: Summer

Status: On the Audubon Watchlist, otherwise classified as Least concern

More info, sounds and map: enature - all about birds - hummingbird net - animal diversity web - internet bird collection - CDFG

 


costa's hummingbird

Calypte costae

Costa's hummingbird, female

Female

Photo source: iStockphoto

Costa's hummingbird, male

Male

Photo source: iStockphoto

The Costa's Hummingbird is primarily a desert resident, breeding in desert wash, foothill riparian areas, lower elevation chaparral and desert scrub habitats. It is a year-long resident in southern California deserts.

It has been reporte to be present in Big Bear Valley.

Breeds in California, southern Nevada, and southwestern Utah and Arizona. May move upslope after breeding and during fall migration. Winters in southern California and Mexico.

The Costa's Hummingbird is on the Audubon Watchlist because of habitat destruction and degradation.

The adulst male has a metallic green back, violet-purple crown and throat, and green breast. The adult female has green back and crown, white breast, white throat with black spots, and buff sides.

Length:  3.5 inches, wingspan: 5.3 inches

Season: Uncertain: may be post-breeding or during fall migration.

Status: On the Audubon watchlist, otherwise Least Concern

More info, sounds and map: enature - all about birds - hummingbird net - animal diversity web - internet bird collection - Audubon watchlist - Birds of Big Bear Valley - SoCal Birding Guide - CDFG


rufous hummingbird

Selasphorus rufus

rufous hummingbird, male

Male

Photo source: iStockphoto

rufous hummingbird, female

Female

Photo source: iStockphoto

The Rufous Hummingbird is a spring migrant through our area.

During their migrations, Rufous Hummingbirds make a clockwise circuit of western North America each year. Moving up through California in late winter and spring, they reach Washington and British Columbia by May. They start their southward journey in July, following the Rocky Mountains range.

The Rufous Hummingbird has a good memory. Some birds have returned after migrating, looking for a feeder where it was the previous year, even though it had been moved.

The Rufous Hummingbird breeds up to southeastern Alaska, the northernmost breeding range of any hummingbird in the world.

Length:  2.83.5 inches, wingspan: 4.3 inches

Season: Migrant, in spring northward migration.

Status: Least concern

More info, sounds and map: enature - all about birds - hummingbird net - animal diversity web - internet bird collection - rufous migration map - CDFG