Photo: Manuel Grosselet/Vireo

Berylline Hummingbird

Amazilia beryllina

Common in the uplands of Mexico, this colorful hummingbird first appeared in the U.S. in 1964. Since then it has become almost a regular visitor, with one or two found almost every summer in the mountains of southeastern Arizona; it has nested there a few times. In canyons near the border it may visit feeders or flowers. While perched in trees, it sometimes gives a soft three-noted call, sounding like a tiny trumpet.
Conservation status Common and widespread in Mexico, but may be vulnerable to loss of habitat.
Family Hummingbirds
Habitat Mountain forests, canyons. Arizona occurrences have been mostly at 5,000-7,000 feet in mountains, in open pine-oak woods or among sycamores in shady canyons. In Mexico, occurs widely in foothills and lower slopes of mountains, especially in oak woodlands.
Common in the uplands of Mexico, this colorful hummingbird first appeared in the U.S. in 1964. Since then it has become almost a regular visitor, with one or two found almost every summer in the mountains of southeastern Arizona; it has nested there a few times. In canyons near the border it may visit feeders or flowers. While perched in trees, it sometimes gives a soft three-noted call, sounding like a tiny trumpet.
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  • adult
  • adult male
Feeding Behavior

At flowers, usually feeds while hovering, extending its bill and long tongue deep into the flower. At feeders, may either hover or perch. To catch small insects, may fly out and grab them in midair, or hover to pluck them from foliage.


Eggs

2. White. Incubation is by female only, probably more than 2 weeks. Young: Female feeds the young, sticking her bill deep into their mouths and regurgitating tiny insects, perhaps mixed with nectar. Age of young at first flight about 18-20 days.


Young

Female feeds the young, sticking her bill deep into their mouths and regurgitating tiny insects, perhaps mixed with nectar. Age of young at first flight about 18-20 days.

Diet

Mostly nectar and insects. Takes nectar from flowers, and will feed on tiny insects as well. Will also feed on sugar-water mixtures in hummingbird feeders.


Nesting

Breeding behavior is not well known. In Arizona, has nested during the summer rainy season. Nest site is in deciduous tree or shrub, sometimes in a coniferous tree. Nest (built by female) is a compact cup of grasses, moss, plant fibers, spider webs, lined with plant down. The outside is camouflaged with flakes of green lichen.

Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds

Migration

Probably not migratory over most of its range. Strays north into U.S. during summer. In parts of Mexico, may move to lower elevations for the winter.

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Migration

Probably not migratory over most of its range. Strays north into U.S. during summer. In parts of Mexico, may move to lower elevations for the winter.

Songs and Calls
Song a series of repeated buzzy twitters, dzzzir or dzzzzrrt.
Audio © Lang Elliott, Bob McGuire, Kevin Colver, Martyn Stewart and others.
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