Allen’s Hummingbird

The Allen’s Hummingbird is a small, colorful bird that can be found in western North America. These tiny birds measure about 3.5 inches in length, and weigh around 0.11 ounces, which is equivalent to 3 grams. Males and females are similar in size and appearance, with males having bright iridescent orange-red throats, while females have greenish throats with some red or orange coloring.

One of the most distinguishing field marks of the Allen’s Hummingbird is their iridescent colors, especially the vibrant orange-red throat patch on males. They have a dark back and greenish flanks, with a short, straight black bill. Their wingspan is about 4 inches, and they have a slightly curved, pointed tail. The female Allen’s Hummingbird is less colorful than males, with green upperparts, whitish underparts, and a pale throat with some iridescence.

Allen’s Hummingbirds are migratory birds, spending winters in Mexico and breeding in western North America. They are known to migrate from their breeding grounds in southern Oregon and California to as far south as central Mexico for the winter. They typically arrive at their breeding grounds in late winter or early spring, and begin nesting soon after.

During the breeding season, Allen’s Hummingbirds can be found in a variety of habitats, including coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and oak woodland. They are also known to visit gardens and parks, where they feed on nectar from flowering plants and trees, and insects such as gnats and fruit flies. They are very active and agile flyers, capable of hovering in mid-air and flying backwards or upside down.

Despite their small size, Allen’s Hummingbirds are a fascinating and impressive species. Their iridescent colors, energetic flight, and long migration make them a beloved bird among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.