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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Black-chinned Hummingbird -- Archilochus alexandri


RANGE: Breeds from southwestern British Columbia and northwestern Montana south to Baja California, southern Texas, and northern Mexico, and east to western Wyoming, eastern Colorado, eastern New Mexico, and central Texas. Winters in Mexico, casually to southern Texas, southern Louisiana, northwestern Florida, and southern California.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Found most frequently in arid regions, where it inhabits oak and riparian woodlands of canyons and lowlands, small patches of willows along dry washes, chaparral, pine-oak woodlands, orchards, and parks. Perfers sites with a low percentage of canopy cover.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Flowers for nectar.

NEST: Usually places nest 4 to 8 feet (but up to 30 feet) above the ground, on a small drooping branch or in a fork of a small tree or shrub, near or overhanging a stream, spring, or dry creek bed. Prefers to nest in oaks, but also nests in alders, cottonwoods, sycamores, laurel, willows, apple, and orange trees in orchards, and in woody vines and tall herbaceous weeds.

FOOD: Feeds on nectar from flowers. Also gleans insects from foliage, and hawks for flying insects.

REFERENCES: Bent 1940b, Harrison 1979, Johnsgard 1983b, Phillips et al. 1964, Terres 1980, Verner and Boss 1980.


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