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Costa's Hummingbird

Calypte costae

Length: 3.5 inches Wingspan: 4.75 inches Seasonality: Extremely rare visitor
ID Keys: Small size, stocky build, short-tailed, long purple gorget on male, white eyebrow

Costa's Hummingbird - Calypte costaeThe U.S. range of the Costa's Hummingbird normally only includes the deserts of the Southwest.  Unlike some other western hummingbird species, they are not known for often wandering widely from that range, and they are thus only extremely rare visitors to South Dakota.  Males are generally distinctive, with very long, flared gorgets of a brilliant purple (see photo to the right).  As with other hummingbird species in the West, they have adopted well to a human presence, with increased numbers and range due to year-round availability of nectar and flower sources in many urban areas.

Habitat: In normal range, typically found in desert habitats, primarily in low washes and streamsides where vegetation is thicker than in the upland desert.  Also has adapted to living in urban settings.

Diet: Feeds primarily on nectar, especially from desert plants such as agave and ocotillo.

Behavior: Feeds in typical hummingbird fashion at flowers and other nectar sources. 

Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota

Song: Has a thin tink call, and high chattery twittery chase calls.

Migration: Birds in the U.S. portion of their range are typically migratory, moving southward into Mexico in winter, although a few remain north of the border.  Within the U.S., birds breeding in the desert typically breed in late winter or very early spring, and then move westward to coastal areas for the hottest weather of the summer.

Interactive eBird Map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Costa's Hummingbird sightings

Similar Species: Anna's Hummingbird, Black-chinned Hummingbird

Conservation Status: Populations appear to be stable, with local fluctuations where desert habitat has been destroyed.

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Costa's Hummingbird

2) Audubon Guide - Costa's Hummingbird

3) WhatBird - Costa's Hummingbird

Photo Information: November 11th, 2015 - Santa Rita Lodge, in Madera Canyon south of Tucson, Arizona

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution Costa's Hummingbird photos.

 

Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Costa's Hummingbird - Calypte costae - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Accidental visitor to South Dakota.

Additional Costa's Hummingbird Photos
Click for a higher-resolution version of these photos
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