Sunday, 22 July 2012

Calliope hummingbird

Stellula calliope

Photo by Frank Leung (Musée Virtuel du Canada)

Common name:
calliope hummingbird (en); (pt); colibri calliope (fr); colibrí calíope (es); sternelfe (de)

Order Apodiformes
Family Trichilidae

This species breeds in the western United States and in south-western Canada, migrating south to winter in southern Mexico.

This tiny hummingbirds is 7-9 cm long and has a wingspan of 11 cm, weighing just 2-3 g.

They breed in moist scrublands, grasslands and open mountain forests, often near streams, at altitudes of 200-3.400 m and winter in similar habitats but also in agricultural areas.

Calliope hummingbirds mainly eat nectar, especially of red tubular flowers, but will also take small insects and spiders.

These birds nest in a compact cup of plant down, moss, bark and fibres, with lichens on the outside, held together with spider webs. The nest is placed in a twig or branch of a pine or other conifer, or sometimes in a scrub. The female lays 2 white eggs, which she incubates alone for 15-16 days. The chicks are fed by the female alone and fledge 18-21 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population of 1 million individuals. The population has had a stable trend over the last 4 decades.

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