Costa's Hummingbird

Calypte costae

Costa's Hummingbird, Calypte costae, photo © by Michael Plagens

This Costa's male was observed at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, Arizona 8 March 2014. Costa's Hummingbirds get nectar from Ocotillo and this plant relies on hummingbirds for pollination. This is an example of mutualism.

The brilliance of the male Costa's Hummingbird purple head and gorget will vary tremendously depending on the orientation of the light relative to the observer. The throats of females are white with nary a fleck of purple. These tiny birds (9 cm) mostly migrate south during the winter months, Nov through Jan-Feb, but a few remain in protected, warmer areas. Canyons and mountains where ocotillo and chuparosa are abundant are favorite nesting spots for Costa's Hummingbirds.

Year-round Resident - but scarce Fall-Winter

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 28 Jan. 2009,
updated 26 March 2014.