Monday, 29 August 2011

Black-chinned hummingbird

Archilochus alexandri

(Photo from Wikipedia)

Common name:
black-chinned hummingbird (en); beija-flor-de-garganta-preta (pt); colibri à gorge noire (fr); colibrí gorginegro (es); schwarzkinnkolibri (de)
Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae
The black-chinned hummingbird regularly occurs throughout western North America, from as far north as British Columbia south to northern Mexico, and from coastal California to central Texas. During the winters, this species migrates to southern California, southern Arizona, southern Texas and Mexico.
These birds are 9-9,5 cm long and have a wingspan of 11 cm. They weigh 2,3-4,9 g.
They are most common in canyons and along rivers, but also in arid areas, often near cottonwood, sycamore, willow, salt-cedar, sugarberry, and oak. During winter they tend to be found in oak forests.
The diet of the black-chinned hummingbird consists of nectar, pollen, insects and sugar water from feeders. They are known to take the nectar from flowers of tree tobacco Nicotiana glauca, scarlet larkspur Delphinium cardinale, and desert ocotillo Fouquieria splendens.
Black-chinned hummingbirds breed in April-September. The female builds the nest, a compact, deep cup constructed of plant down, spider silk and cocoon fibres, placed in an horizontal dead branch 2-4 m above the ground. There the female lays 2 white eggs which are incubated for 12-16 days. The chicks fledge 20-21 days after hatching. Each pair raises 1-3 broods per season.
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 2 million individuals. The species has undergone a large increase of 14,6% per decade over the last 40 years.

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