Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Hummingbirds of Arizona: Berylline Hummingbird

Berylline Hummingbird

Photo from Miller Canyon

Photo from Madera Canyon

Size: The Berylline is a mid-sized hummingbird of about 4 inches, with a medium length straight black bill.

Identifying Characteristics: Both male and female adults are predominantly metallic olive green with a rusty gray lower belly. The primary wings and tail are rufous in color and slightly forked. The underwing is also rufous. The male throat is  a slightly darker turquoise green than the female. The top photo is a female. The bottom photo is a male.  These colorings make the Berylline fairly easy to identify.

Habitat: Oak woods and canyons not far from water.

Range:   Forests in Mexico; rare to the United States.  

Seasons:     Year round resident in Sierra Madre, Mexico; occasional sightings in Southern Arizona between April and the end of September.

Where to Find:    This is a hard one to find. During the summer months they could be in Miller Canyon, Madera Canyon, and Cave Creek Canyon. You will want to check the Audubon's Rare Bird Alert and ABA's Birding News to help with the location. (In 2012 there were no reported sightings in the US).

Comments:     They don't come to the United States in large numbers and don't hang around the feeders for long. They come in for 10 to 15 seconds, drink, and then fly off into the trees far away from the feeders. Patience (and luck) are required to spot and photograph them. Those that come to Arizona often come to breed and thus stay close to their nests which are typically 17-35 feet above ground.  Try Miller Canyon first and then the upper feeding areas in Madera Canyon (Kubo Cabins or Chuparosa Inn). 

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