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Garnet-throated Hummingbird

Lamprolaima rhami

The garnet-throated hummingbird, a radiant gem of the avian world, is a small bird measuring between 12 to 12.4 cm in length and weighing a mere 5.6 to 7.1 grams. Its name is derived from the male's striking gorget, which shimmers with a rosy pink hue, akin to the precious stone it is named after.

Identification Tips

To identify this species, look for the male's iridescent green upperparts and violet-blue breast, set against a backdrop of blackish underparts with mottled green flanks. The female, on the other hand, sports dusky gray underparts with possible pinkish dots on the throat. Both sexes possess a short, straight, black bill, and their wings are rufous with dark brown tips. The tail is dark purple with gray tips on the outer feathers, while juvenile birds resemble the adult female but with additional buff fringes.

Habitat

The garnet-throated hummingbird favors the interior and edges of tropical forests, cloud forests, and pine-oak forests, as well as scrublands. It thrives in elevations ranging from 1,200 to 3,000 meters, but is most commonly found between 1,500 and 2,300 meters.

Distribution

This species is found discontinuously from Mexico's Guerrero, Puebla, and Veracruz states, extending south through Guatemala and into El Salvador and Honduras.

Behaviour

During the breeding season, the garnet-throated hummingbird ascends to higher elevations, only to descend when the season concludes.

Song & calls

The male's song is a soft, gruff, and crackling warble interspersed with nasal, gurgling notes. Calls include a nasal 'nyik' and 'choiw', high-pitched chips, and a sharp, slightly buzzy 'tis-i-tyu-tyu'.

Breeding

Breeding occurs in April and May on the Atlantic slope and between December and March on the Pacific slope. The female constructs a bulky cup nest from moss, leaf parts, and pine needles, lining it with softer plant fibers, often attaching it to exposed roots on earth banks.

Diet and Feeding

The garnet-throated hummingbird feeds on nectar from flowering shrubs and trees, particularly those of the Inga and Erythrina genera, usually foraging below 10 meters from the ground. Males defend feeding territories vigorously. In addition to nectar, the species also consumes small insects, which it catches in flight from a perch.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the garnet-throated hummingbird as Least Concern, indicating a stable population. It is locally common and adapts well to human-modified environments, provided some forest cover remains. However, it has been previously considered Threatened by the Mexican government.

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Garnet-throated Hummingbirds on Birda

Sightings
A map showing the sighting location
🦢
Nagi Aboulenein
20 Mar 2022 - 1:33pm
Mexico

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