Blue-Throated Hummingbird

(Lampornis clemenciae)

Blue-Throated Hummingbirds are the Largest of North America's hummers.

The 5 inch giants occupy a few small sections in tn the mountains of southeastern Arizona, in southwestern New Mexico and a separate population in the Chisos Mountains of West Texas.

After the breeding season, virtually the entire population returns to Mexico for the winter.

Throughout their range, they prefer moist canyons at high elevations with open woodlands of pine and oak.

Blue-throated hummingbirds return to their breeding grounds in early spring when nesting gets under way.

Size alone, give them an edge over most other hummers, but that isn't enough. Observations in Arizona have seen Blue-throated hummingbirds waiting in ambush for Black-chins and Broad-tail, much like the school yard bully.

Male Blue-throats establish and defend their territory against intruders, especially other hummers.

During display flights, males fan their blackish tails, clearly showing the white tips.

They also deliver a high pitched squeaky "Seek" sound as a song or call.

Some things haven't been studied enough to fully understand.

Male Blue-throat

The Female Blue-Throat chooses a separate territory from the male, which stays at somewhat higher elevations, where wild flowers are more abundant.

Nesting areas are usually wooded canyons near streams.

The nest is made in almost any location with overhead shelter is available.

This includes under bridges, eaves, inside and outside of man made structures.

It also includes under tree limbs and branches, under rock cliffs that protect from the elements and predators and just about any place that suits her fancy.

They will nest from April through late July and into August.

Nests are large for that of a hummingbird and is composed of coarse straw, catkins, weeds, mosses and cobwebs.

The inner nest is lined with plant down and mosses.

Up to 3 inches wide and 2 - 1/2 inches deep, it is held together with spider silk.

Like all other hummingbirds, mama Blue-throat does all the work while he seeks out other ladies.

As many as three clutches of 2 tiny eggs can span over the breeding season and she is busy rearing young often into October.

As soon as the last brood can fend for themselves, it is South of the border time for the tiny giants.

Similar species:

The male is unmistakable Female is similar to female Magnificent Hummingbird but has large white tips to tail and white malar streak.

Other hummingbirds are much smaller.

Length: 5.25 inches

Long, thin bill

Large hummingbird

White stripe behind eye

White malar streak

Green upper-parts

Grayish underparts

Black, rounded tail with broad white tips

United States ranged restricted to southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico and west Texas. Stray elsewhere.

Adult male:

Blue throat (black in poor light)

Migration Status: Short distance migrant

Breeding Habitat: Woodland

Clutch Size: 2

Length of Incubation: 17-18 days

Days to Fledge: 24-29

Number of Broods: 1 to as many as 3





Unfortunately, I have not found a decent range map.

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