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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

White-eared Hummingbird -- Hylocharis leucotis


RANGE: Resident from Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas south through the highlands of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras to north-central Nicaragua. Irregularly, in summer, in the mountains of southern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and western Texas; northernmost populations are partially migratory.

STATUS: Rare and irregular in United States.

HABITAT: Prefers the undergrowth of oak forests but also occurs in pine woods, dense pine-oak forests, high mountain fir forests, partially open mountain country with scattered trees and shrubs, suburban gardens, and vacant lots with scattered shrubs and flowers. (Little is known about its habits in the United States, and there is no good evidence that it has ever nested in Arizona.)

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Flowers, especially blue flowers such as salvia, for nectar.

NEST: Nest sites are nearly always in shrubs or fairly low trees.

FOOD: Feeds on flies and other insects found in honeysuckle and other flowers. Is easily attracted to hummingbird feeders.

REFERENCES: Cottam and Knappen 1939, Johnsgard 1983b, Phillips et al. 1964, Terres 1980, Terrill in Farrand 1983b.


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