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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Lucifer Hummingbird -- Calothorax lucifer


RANGE: Breeds from southern Arizona and the Chisos Mountains of western Texas south to the highlands of Mexico. Winters in Mexico.

STATUS: Rare and local.

HABITAT: Inhabits cactus-covered slopes, dry canyons, arid mesas, and foothills and semi-desert habitats from 4,000 to 7,400 feet, often where century-plant agaves are abundant.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Flowers for nectar, particularly agaves.

NEST: Places nest in a shrub or on a seed pod of a dead stalk of an agave, 4 to 6 feet above the ground.

FOOD: Forages on Chisos bluebonnet, ocotillo, tree tobacco, and yellow-green blossoms of agave for nectar; probably consumes a high proportion of insects as well.

REFERENCES: Garrett in Farrand 1983b, Johnsgard 1983b, Oberholser 1974a, Terres 1980.


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