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Allen's Hummingbird

Allen's Hummingbird, along with Anna's Hummingbird, are the only two common nesting hummingbirds in Northern California's gardens.

Stephen Kress & Elissa Wolfson
Posted: April 5, 2013, 3:15 p.m. PDT

Woman with kitten
The Allen's Hummingbird is a close relative of Rufous Hummingbird.

Excerpted from “Meet the Hummers” in “Popular Birding Series: Hummingbirds,” published by publisher I-5 Publishing LLC. 

Selasphorus sasin, the genus name of the scarlet-throated Allen's Hummingbird, means “flame-bearing.” The female and immature hummingbirds of the two bird species are nearly impossible to distinguish. Allen's Hummingbird, along with Anna's Hummingbird, are the only two common nesting hummingbirds in Northern California's gardens.

Allen's Hummingbird Quick Facts

Genus and species: Selasphorus sasin

Length: 3¾ inches

Wingspan: 4¼ inches

Migration: Allen's Hummingbird moves north from Mexico up the Pacific coast in late winter. Nonmigratory populations live in Southern California.

Habitat: This wild bird nests primarily in California. Allen's Hummingbird prefers brushy hillsides, canyons, parks, coastal gardens and mountain meadows.

Field marks: rufous-orange flanks, rump and tail; metallic-green mid-back and cap; flame-red throat; and relatively long bill

Voice: The Allen's Hummingbird call is a high, hard chip “tyuk.” Males' wings create a high, buzzy trill.

Nesting: Nests sit in trees up to 90 feet above ground, usually in dense shade. The female Allen's Hummingbird lays two pure-white eggs, then incubates and feeds its chicks.

Feeding: Allen's Hummingbird prefers red, tubular flowers, including Indian paintbrush, penstemon and California fuchsia.

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