|Conservation status||Common within its range. Undoubtedly has declined where desert is cleared for development, but in some places it has adapted to nesting in suburbs.|
|Habitat||Deserts, washes, sage scrub. Mostly in dry and open habitats having a good variety of plant life, such as washes and streamsides in Sonoran desert, lower parts of dry canyons, coastal sage scrub. Rarely moves up into mountain meadows after breeding season.|
At flowers, usually feeds while hovering, extending its bill into the flower. At feeders, may either hover or perch. To catch small insects, may fly out and capture them in midair, or hover to pluck them from foliage.
2. White. Incubation is by female only, 15-18 days. Young: Female feeds the young. Age of young at first flight about 20-23 days.
Female feeds the young. Age of young at first flight about 20-23 days.
Mostly nectar and insects. Takes nectar from flowers, and will feed on tiny insects as well. Often visits desert natives such as agave, chuparosa, desert honeysuckle, and fairy-duster. Will also feed on sugar-water mixtures in hummingbird feeders.
In courtship display, male flies high, then zooms down past perched female and climbs again, making shrill high-pitched whistle during the dive; also gives the same whistled song while perched. One male may mate with several females. Nest site is in rather open or sparsely leaved shrub or small tree, sometimes in yucca or cactus, usually 2-8 feet above the ground. Placed on horizontal or diagonal branch. Nest (built by female) is a compact cup of plant fibers, bits of leaves or flowers, spider webs; usually has a grayish look. Female continues to add to nest during incubation period.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Many that nest in deserts in spring migrate west to the coast for other seasons. However, where flowers are present all year (as in many suburban gardens), increasing numbers of Costa's now remain all year.
- 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.Learn more
Songs and CallsA light chip and high tinkling notes.
Learn more about this sound collection.