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Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbirds are widespread over much of the American West during nesting season and almost entirely absent in winter.

Stephen Kress & Elissa Wolfson
Posted: July 17, 2013, 4:15 p.m. PDT

Black-Chinned Hummingbird
The Black-Chinned Hummingbird are slender, small-headed and long-billed.

Named for the male’s black throat, Black-chinned Hummingbirds are widespread over much of the American West during nesting season and almost entirely absent in winter. Courting male Black-chinned Hummingbirds perform "pendulum” displays for female Black-chinned Hummingbirds, whirring back and forth in a wide arc.

Black-chinned Hummingbird Quick Facts
Genus and species: Archilochus alexandri

Length: 3¾ inches

Wingspan: 4¾ inches

Migration: Black-chinned Hummingbirds migrate from western United States to Mexico each fall and fly back each spring.

Habitat: This bird species prefers low elevation, semi-arid river groves as well as chaparral, parks and suburban gardens.

Field marks: Males have distinctive black throats with purple and white bands below with iridescent green above. Females have grayish-green backs and crowns.

Voice: The call sounds like a husky, soft "ti-up” or "ti-pip.” The song is a high warble.

Nesting: The Black-chinned Hummingbird’s nest is a deep cup of plant fiber and spider webs, camouflaged with lichen and built in a deciduous tree. The female hummingbird lays two white eggs, then incubates and feeds its chicks.

Feeding: Black-chinned Hummingbirds eat nectar from desert honeysuckle, ocotillo and tree tobacco in arid regions. This hummingbird repeatedly flicks its tail while feeding.

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

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