Costa’s Hummingbird

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Image:Costa'shummingbird.JPG

Common Name: Costa’s Hummingbird
Scientific Name: Calypte costae

Size: 3.5 inches (9 cm)

Habitat: North America; Northwest Mexico, Baja California, Southern California, western Arizona and southern Nevada.

Desert and semi-desert, arid brushy foothills and chaparral while in migration and in winter they are also found in adjacent mountains, in open meadows and gardens.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 4,000,000 mature individuals. Loss of habitat, especially coastal scrub and Sonoran desert scrub, pose the most serious threat to the species. Availability of feeders may have a compensating effect, to an undetermined degree.

Diet: Flower nectar and small insects.

Breeding: The male Costa's Hummingbird's courtship display is a spirited series of swoops and arcing dives, carefully utilizing a proper angle to the sun to show off his violet plumage to impress prospective mates. Each high-speed dive will be accented by a high-pitched shriek as the male passes within inches of the female, who is perched on a nearby branch.

The Costa's Hummingbird constructs a small cup-shaped nest out of plant fibers and down, coated with lichen to hold it together. The nest will be situated above ground on a yucca stalk or tree limb. The female lays just two eggs, which are white in color, which she will incubate for 15 to 18 days before the young hatch. The young Costa's Hummingbirds leave the nest after 20 to 23 days.

Cool Facts: Researchers have found that the Costa's Hummingbird can enter a torpid state, with slowed heart rates and reduced body temperatures, under low ambient nighttime temperatures. The hearts of torpid Costa's Hummingbirds beat about 50 times per minute, while those of non-torpid resting Costa's Hummingbirds beat 500 to 900 times per minute.


Included in Songbird ReMix Hummingbirds of North America

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