Bird GuideHummingbirdsBerylline Hummingbird
Berylline Hummingbird
Saucerottia beryllina

At a Glance

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.
Low Concern
Arroyos and Canyons, Forests and Woodlands
Flitter, Hovering, Rapid Wingbeats

Range & Identification

Migration & Range Maps

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.


4 1/4" (11 cm). Mostly apple green, with chestnut red in the tail and wings. Some reddish on bill; belly may be buff or gray. Buff-bellied Hummingbird, found in Texas, lacks chestnut in wings.
About the size of a Sparrow
Green, Orange
Wing Shape
Narrow, Rounded, Short
Tail Shape
Notched, Short, Square-tipped

Songs and Calls

Song a series of repeated buzzy twitters, dzzzir or dzzzzrrt.
Call Type
Buzz, Chirp/Chip, Trill


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.



2. White. Incubation is by female only, probably more than 2 weeks.


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.

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.


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.


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.

Climate Vulnerability

Conservation Status

Common and widespread in Mexico, but may be vulnerable to loss of habitat.