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Species Guide
A photo of a Buff-bellied Hummingbird (Amazilia yucatanensis)
Buff-bellied Hummingbird

Buff-bellied Hummingbird

Amazilia yucatanensis

The Buff-bellied Hummingbird, known scientifically as Amazilia yucatanensis, is a small, vibrant member of the "emeralds" tribe within the hummingbird family. This species exhibits a length ranging from 10 to 11 cm and a weight between 2.9 to 4.7 grams. The males are adorned with a rosy reddish bill, darkened at the tip, while females display more darkness on the maxilla.

Identification Tips

Adult males of the nominate subspecies boast metallic bronze-green upperparts, with a duller and darker crown. Their uppertail coverts blend bronze green with cinnamon rufous, and their tail feathers transition from chestnut at the base to a metallic bronze at the ends. The chin, throat, and chest shimmer with a bright metallic yellowish emerald green, contrasting with the deep cinnamon rufous of the vent area and undertail coverts. Females resemble males but with less iridescence on the back and throat, and their central tail feathers are predominantly greenish bronze.


Buff-bellied Hummingbirds inhabit semi-open to open and relatively dry landscapes within their year-round range. These include scrubby woodlands, forest edges, thorn forests, oak woodlands, grassland "islands," and urban and suburban parks and gardens.


The nominate subspecies is found from northern Belize and northwestern Guatemala to southeastern Mexico. Subspecies A. y. chalconota resides from southern Texas to north-central Veracruz in Mexico and, during winter, extends further north and east in the U.S. The A. y. cerviniventris subspecies is located from central Veracruz through Puebla and Oaxaca to northern Chiapas.


The migration patterns of the Buff-bellied Hummingbird are not fully understood, but it appears to be sedentary except in northern Mexico and Texas. Some individuals of the A. y. chalconota subspecies disperse north and east along the Gulf Coast, reaching as far as the Florida panhandle and occasionally further.


This hummingbird feeds on nectar from a diverse array of flowering plants, shrubs, and trees, including non-tubular blossoms, by hovering. It fiercely defends its feeding territories, including sugar water feeders, from other hummingbirds and some insects. Its diet also includes small arthropods caught in flight or gleaned from vegetation.


In south Texas, the breeding season is primarily from late March to early August, with nesting reported earlier and later. On the Yucatán Peninsula, nesting may begin as early as January. The nest is a cup made of plant fibers, thistledown, grass, hair, and nylon, bound with spiderweb and adorned with lichens and bark shreds, typically placed in a small tree or shrub.


The Buff-bellied Hummingbird's vocal repertoire includes a two-syllable "tsi-we" call during displays, "tik" or "tik-k" notes while feeding, and a rapid "see-see-see-see-su-su" when chasing other hummingbirds, which is also considered its song.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the Buff-bellied Hummingbird as Least Concern. It has a vast range and an increasing population since the 1980s. Although significant habitat conversion has occurred within its range, the impact on this species has not been documented.

Buff-bellied Hummingbird Sounds

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Buff-bellied Hummingbird Fun Facts

Did you know?
Buff-bellied Hummingbirds are one of few species in the Northern Hemisphere to migrate north for winter.

Buff-bellied Hummingbirds on Birda


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