This species is the smallest of all the regularly occurring hummingbirds in the U.S. It is recognized by its short straight bill, short tail, and, at very close range, by its unique spade-shaped central tail feathers. At rest, the wingtips extend beyond the tail. Male: Green upperparts, white underparts with a green wash on the sides and flanks. The reddish-purple gorget consists of long streaks of color on a white background, unique among hummingbirds in the U.S. When flared, the gorget creates a colorful star shape. The short dark tail is slightly notched. Female: Green above, whitish below, with extensive buffy wash across the sides and lower breast. The throat is usually evenly spotted. The square tail is green with a black band, and with white tips on the outer three sets of tail feathers. A tiny amount of rufous edging may be visible on some tail feathers, but never to the extent seen on Selasphorus hummingbirds. Juveniles resemble adult female. Young males have variable amounts of reddish purple spots or streaks on the throat.
Length: 7 (cm) Wingspan: 11 (cm)
Song is a gently whistled see-reee.
Open forest, chaparral, meadow, riparian corridor.
Often cocks tail upward while hovering.
Feeds on floral nectar, sap from sapsucker wells, and small insects.
Calliope hummers show up regularly in the Colorado Springs (CO) area in late summer. This year we've been having fun watching female Calliopes and female Black-chinned hummers argue over feeders and flowers. No male Calliopes yet (unless we've had juveniles), but they're very distinct from the Black-chinned at one feeder - the Calliopes are the ones too short to sit on the perch while drinking.
Citation: Personal Experience. I observe this regularly, highly confident.
Expanded Life History
|Feed Ecology And Diet||Contribute Content|
|Nesting Habits||Contribute Content|
|Migration Status||Contribute Content|
|Conservation Status||Contribute Content|
|Local Sites to Spot||Contribute Content|
|Abundance Status||Contribute Content|
|Adult Male Description||Contribute Content|
|Adult Female Description||Contribute Content|
|ITIS Taxonomic Number||Contribute Content|
|Reproductive Characteristics||Contribute Content|
|Relationship to Humans||Contribute Content|
|ID Tips - Size & Shape||Contribute Content|
|ID Tips - Color & Pattern||Contribute Content|
|ID Tips - Habitat||Contribute Content|
|ID Tips - Behavior||Contribute Content|
|ID Tips - Wingspan||Contribute Content|
|ID Tips - Weight||Contribute Content|
|Cool Facts||Contribute Content|
|Local Knowledge||Contribute Content|
Post a Question
|Activity||Date & Time|
|Alikina MacAndrew added a note to Calliope Hummingbird Notes||8/06/2013 at 5:35PM|