Stellula calliope
(Calliope Hummingbird)

Order: Apodiformes
Order Description: Swifts, Hummingbirds
Family: Trochilidae
Family Description: Hummingbirds

Physical Description:
2 3/4-4" (7-10 cm). A tiny hummingbird; short bill and characteristic hovering posture -- with tail slightly cocked up and body almost horizontal. Bill is more frequently stained with yellow from pollen than other hummers. Males have elongate purple-red throat feathers than can appear as streaks or rays on white background, be fluffed out to give a whiskered effect, or be folded like a dark inverted V on a white throat; white below with green sides; metallic green above. Females have pale cinnamon-buffClick word for definition sides; upperparts green, red-brown base of tail with white tips on corners; white below with a few fine, dark spots on throat.

Similar Species- Male Costa's Hummingbird, female and immature Allen's, Rufous, and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, female Black- chinned Humming bird

Calls a high, thin tsip. Male's display call is a high, thin zee-ree.

Breeds in mountains from central interior British Columbia and southwestern Alberta, south through Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and California to northern Baja California, and east to northern Wyoming, western Colorado, and Utah. Winters from northern to central Mexico.

Found in mountains (along meadows, canyons and streams), in open montane forests, and in willow and alder thickets. During migration and in winter, found in chaparralClick word for definition, lowland brushy areas, and deserts.

Feeds on nectar, insects, and spiders. Food sources include: paintbrush, penstemon, columbine, trumpet gilia, and elephant head.

Builds cup-shaped nest in tree on limb or cone, or in shrub. Nests from 180 m (Washington) to more than 3000 m (California). Takes nectar from flowers, or may hunt from perch. Tends to feed close to ground. In southern British Columbia, defends territories from late April-late June. Smallest bird north of Mexico.

One broodClick word for definition of 2 eggs is laid in May-July (British Columbia). Incubation lasts about 15 days. Young are capable of flight about 20 days after hatching. About 338 days elapse from egg-laying to fledging. Males depart breeding grounds while females are incubating.

Element Code: ABNUC48010
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5,NTMB
National Rank: N5B

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.

Photo by Jim Nestler, 2002 and C. Trost, 2001
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.