15 May, 2010

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Scientific Name: Archilochus Alexandri

Population Estimate: 2M

Range / Habitat: Winters along the west coast of Mexico in lowland moist forest. Summers in the western US. Their breeding habitat is open semi-arid areas near water in the western United States, northern Mexico and southern British Columbia.

Field Notes: Males (top photo) with black chin and just a flash of iridescent purple when seen from the right angle. Range overlaps with Broad-tailed Hummingbird (which has a stocky body with conspicuously large tail, males with rosy throat, and distinct loud hum), Calliope Hummingbird (very small hummingbird, males with unmistakable streaked rosy gorget), and Rufous Hummingbird (later migrant, males with rufous coloring). Females (bottom photo) are more difficult to distinguish but posture, size and lack of spotted checks are suggestive of a Black-chinned. A better look at the tail would be definitive.

Personal Notes: Though these photos where taken at feeders we also saw this delicate bird on a separate occasion, perched high on a bare branch

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