Conservation status Very common in limited range in U.S. and in parts of Mexico.
Family Hummingbirds
Habitat Streamsides, foothill oak woodlands. Breeds mostly in semi-open habitats at around 3,000-5,000 feet in Arizona. Favors areas with streamside groves of sycamore or cottonwoodand with dense mesquite thickets, or open oak woodlands in lower canyons. In winter may be found along streams in desert country.

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; sometimes will take insects from spider webs.


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.


Female feeds the young, sticking her bill deep into their mouths and regurgitating tiny insects, perhaps mixed with nectar.


Mostly nectar and insects. Takes nectar from flowers, and eats many tiny insects as well. Favors red or orange tubular flowers such as bouvardia or desert honeysuckle. Will also feed on sugar-water mixtures in hummingbird feeders.


Male has soft jumbled song, not often heard; seems to defend territory mostly by perching high, watching for intruders and chasing them away. Nest site is in deciduous shrub or low tree, saddled on horizontal or drooping branch or placed in fork, usually 3-9 feet above the ground. Nest (built by female) is a relatively loose cup of grasses, plant fibers, spider webs, lined with plant down. The outside is camouflaged with bits of leaves or bark; unlike many hummingbird nests, outside usually not decorated with lichens.

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

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Present in southern Arizona mostly March to September. In areas north and west of breeding range (including central Arizona and southern California), very small numbers may be present mainly in fall and winter.

  • All Seasons - Common
  • All Seasons - Uncommon
  • Breeding - Common
  • Breeding - Uncommon
  • Winter - Common
  • Winter - Uncommon
  • Migration - Common
  • Migration - Uncommon

See a fully interactive migration map for this species on the Bird Migration Explorer.

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Songs and Calls

A rapid, scratching chi-dit, like the note of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.
Audio © Lang Elliott, Bob McGuire, Kevin Colver, Martyn Stewart and others.
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