Scientific name: Selasphorus sasin
Length: 3 1/4 inches (8.26 cm)
Identification: This hummer has a long bill and a compact body. The male Allen's
hummingbird has an iridescent green crown and a green back. The green center of the
back is the main distinction between it and the Rufous hummingbird. The male's rump
and below is rufous (brownish red), breast is white, and gorget (throat) is copper-red.
The female Allen's hummer is green above, rufous on the sides, white beneath, and
small orange-red spots on the throat. Often, the female is mistaken for the Rufous
Habitat and range: Though the California quail (Lophortyx californica)
is the state bird of California, the Allen's hummingbird is essentially a California
bird, ranging from southern Oregon down to Ventura County -- northwest of Los Angeles
-- along a narrow coastal strip. It is found in open woods and in the suburbs. The
Allen's hummer migrates for the winter to northwestern Mexico, though some stay all
year on islands off the coast of California.
FYI: With its short wings, the Allen's hummingbird makes a whistling buzz,
when flying. Source: "Allen's Hummingbird," The Encyclopedia of North
American Birds (Bath, UK: Paragon Publishing, 2002), p. 207. Hummingbirds are
members of the family Trochilidae. Sometimes hummingbirds are classified in their
own order of Trochiliformes, but the Allen's hummer is grouped with the Swifts in
the order Apodiformes. Source: "Hummingbird," The New Encyclopaedia
Britannica, 2002, Vol. 6, p. 144. An Allen's hummingbird aroused from its torpid
state -- a type of nighttime hibernation -- can recover to fly within ten to fifteen
minutes. Source: Alexander F. Skutch, The Life of the Hummingbird (New York: Vineyard
Books, Inc., 1973), p. 40.
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