Black-chinned Hummingbird is widely distributed in the western part of the
United States in the summer. They are very closely related to their
eastern U.S. counterpart, the
Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Plumages between the two species are
almost identical, and one of the few reliable differences is the color of
the male's gorget when seen in good light, with Black-chinned Hummingbirds
flashing a purple band on their gorget, and
showing a red band. They are common in low-elevations and around urban
feeders in the Western U.S. in the summer, but unlike some western
Hummingbirds, Black-chinned Hummingbirds completely disappear from the West
in the winter as they migrate to spend the winters in Mexico.
Habitat: Black-chinned Hummingbirds can be found
in a variety of open to semi-open habitats, including suburban areas,
riparian areas, open woodland, and deciduous groves in canyons of the West.
Diet: Typical diet of Hummingbirds, feeding
heavily on nectar. Tiny insects also comprise a large portion of the
Behavior: Black-chinned Hummingbirds are extremely
adaptable, both in terms of habitat and in terms of food supply. They
have adapted to a variety of settings in the West, including urban settings,
and will adapt foraging techniques and food supply depending upon
availability, with less of a tendency to specialize on one food source than
Nesting: Nests are typically constructed
relatively close to the ground, from 3 to 12 feet in height. The nests
are composed of downy plant fibers and spider webs. Females
exclusively incubate and raise young.
Song: Song of the Black-chinned Hummingbird is a
very weak, high-pitched warbling. Black-chinned Hummingbirds also have a
wide variety of calls, most often produced during courtship and other
interactions between birds.
Migration: Black-chinned Hummingbirds are strongly
migratory. Birds in the United States arrive in the spring and leave
in the fall. A few seem to stray to the eastern U.S. every fall,
and a few may actually winter along the Gulf Coast.
Feeders: Will attend hummingbird feeders
Conservation Status: Common and widespread, with
no significant conservation concerns.
Photo Information: May 4th, 2008 - Ramsey Canyon,
Arizona - Terry Sohl
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