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A photo of a Berylline Hummingbird (Saucerottia beryllina)
Berylline Hummingbird

Berylline Hummingbird

Saucerottia beryllina

The Berylline Hummingbird, Saucerottia beryllina, is a small, vibrant member of the "emeralds" tribe within the hummingbird family. This avian jewel measures between 8 to 10 cm in length, with males slightly heavier than females, weighing approximately 4.4 g to the female's 4.0 g.

Identification Tips

Adult males of the nominate subspecies, S. b. beryllina, boast a resplendent bronze-green to coppery plumage on their head, back, and rump, with uppertail coverts and tail feathers that shimmer in hues of copper to rufous. Their wings reveal a chestnut patch when closed, and their underparts are a glittering golden green. Females are similar but have a paler throat and belly, and juveniles display a grayish cinnamon belly. The species exhibits slight variations among its subspecies, with differences in back and tail coloration.


The Berylline Hummingbird is found in a variety of arid landscapes, including dense oak and pine-oak forests, scrublands, deciduous and thorn forests, gallery forests, plantations, and even parks and gardens. It thrives from sea level to the submontane zone, predominantly between 500 and 1,800 meters.


This species is distributed across El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and occasionally the United States. It is sedentary throughout most of its range, except in the northernmost areas where it migrates southward for the winter.


The Berylline Hummingbird exhibits geographical variation in its movements, with some populations migrating and others remaining sedentary. It is known to make seasonal elevational changes within its range. This hummingbird is dominant over most other species when foraging and often defends its feeding territories.

Song & Calls

The song of the Berylline Hummingbird is a series of high-pitched twittering notes, often preceded by lisping sounds. Its calls include a hard, buzzy "dzzzzir" or "drrzzzt," and a more liquid "dzzzzrrt" that may be repeated multiple times.


Breeding occurs from June to October, with a peak in September in Oaxaca, though the season is not well-defined elsewhere. The female constructs a solid cup nest on a horizontal branch, incubates two eggs, and the fledging period lasts about 20 days post-hatch.

Similar Species

While there are variations among its subspecies, the Berylline Hummingbird can be distinguished by its unique coloration and size from other hummingbird species in its range.

Diet and Feeding

A generalist feeder, the Berylline Hummingbird forages for nectar from a diverse array of flowering plants and also consumes arthropods, either by hawking from a perch or gleaning from spider webs.

Conservation Status

The IUCN has classified the Berylline Hummingbird as Least Concern, with a stable population estimated at two million mature individuals and no immediate threats identified. It ranges from uncommon to common in its southern range but is considered very local and rare in the United States.

Berylline Hummingbird Sounds

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