Blue-throated hummingbird

Blue-throated hummingbird
Lampornis clemenciae
Photo by Joe McDonald (McDonald Wildlife Photography)

Common name:
blue-throated hummingbird (en); beija-flor-de-garganta-azul (pt); colibri à gorge bleue (fr); colibrí gorgiazul (es); blaukehlnymphe (de)

Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

This North American species is found in the southern United States, in southern Arizona, New Mexico and western Texas, and into Mexico as far south as Oaxaca.

These birds are 11-12,5 cm long and have a wingspan of 19 cm. They weigh 6-8,5 g.

The blue-throated hummingbird is generally found in open woodlands and secondary growth forests, preferring pine-oak and deciduous forests. They are also found in scrublands and tend to be near water. They are mostly found at high altitudes, breeding at 1.800-3.300 m, but come down to elevations as low as 300 m during the winter.

They feed on the nectar of various plant, including Salvia, Penstemon, Lobelia laxiflora and Nicotiana, but will also take small insects and spiders found in or around flowers.

Blue-throated hummingbirds breed in February-September. The female builds the nest, a cup made of soft plant fibres, mosses and lichens, held together and attached to its support using spider webs. The nest may be attached to a tree branch, flowering plant, fern, vine, rock shelf, or to man-made object such as a wire or nail. There she lays 2 white eggs which she incubates alone for 17-19 days. The chicks are fed by the female alone and fledge 24-29 days after hatching. Each female may raise 1-3 broods per year, often with different males.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 2 million individuals. Habitat loss may pose a threat in some areas, mainly due to logging, but overall the population has an increasing trend.

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