COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD


Calypte costae


Description:

Because of the appearence of it's gorget extensions, I call this bird the "mustache" hummingbird. Like all hummingbirds, they feed on nectar and insects. A favorite flower of the Costa's is penstemon. Costa's can often be distinguished by the way they soar between clumps of flowers.


Appearance:

Small hummingbird with bright green back. White underparts with greenish flanks. Long, black, slightly downward curved, thin bill. Male has iridescent violet-purple crown and gorget, with a long, pointed extention reaching far down both sides of it's neck. Entirely dark, notched tail. Female has white chin and red spots on the middle of it's throat. Has dark tail with white tips on corners of tail feathers. 3 inches in length.


Habitat:

Chaparral and low desert regions.


Nesting:

2 white eggs with a 15-18 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 20-23 days after hatching. The nest is a woven open cup decorated with leaves or lichens. The nest is built on a small tree or bush branch, that is low to the ground.


Observed Locations:

  • Palm Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
  • Lake Murray, La Mesa





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