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Costa's Hummingbird Calypte costae


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Costa's Hummingbird, male
credit: NA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Trochilidae, Hummingbirds view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has a metallic greenish yellow back and nape. Cap, throat, and gorget usually appear dark (almost black in harsh light); once in a while, however, feathers catch the light and sparkle metallic violet. Underparts are whitish, especially on breast, and flanks have greenish yellow feathering. ADULT FEMALE Has metallic greenish yellow upperparts. Underparts are whitish and clean looking. Tail has striking white tips on outer three feathers. JUVENILE Similar to adult female; immature male gradually acquires darker, iridescent feathers on throat and crown.

Dimensions Length: 3-3 1/2" (8-9 cm)

Habitat Fairly common summer visitor to southern Arizona and southern California; small numbers also winter in extreme south of its North American range. Favors vegetated desert areas and chaparral habitat.

Observation Tips Regular visitor to feeders within its range. In spring, males sometimes perch conspicuously, advertising territorial ownership and looking out for rivals.

Range California, Rocky Mountains, Southwest

Voice Utters sharp, metallic call notes.

Discussion Males are stunningly attractive when true colors are revealed. Often indifferent to human observers, allowing superb views. Sexes are strikingly dissimilar.