Scientific name: Hylocharis leucotis
Length: 4 inches (10.2 cm)
Identification: Most notable about both sexes of the white-eared hummingbird
is the long white stripe behind its eye. Both have red bills with black tips. The
male is green above and below, having a purple crown and a metallic blue-green chin,
while the female is green above and whitish below spangled with golden green to turquoise
green spots. The female also has a broad black stripe behind its eye.
Habitat and range: This hummingbird can be found in the mountain woodlands
of southeastern Arizona, northwestern Mexico, and down to southern Central America.
FYI: A long, tubular tongue is used by the hummingbird to lap the nectar out
of flowers, providing invaluable pollination when the pollen brushes onto the head
of the hummingbird, then brushed onto the next flower. Forked at the end, the hummingbird's
tongue curls together to form a kind of double trough to lap nectar into its mouth.
Flying insects can easily be caught by the hummingbird in flight, as well as plucking
them from flowers. Sources: "Hummingbird," The International Wildlife
Encyclopedia, 1969, Vol. 9, p. 1136 and Donald F. Bruning, "Hummingbird,"
World Book Encyclopedia, 2005, Vol. 9, p. 433. Hummingbirds love to bathe. Flying
down to pools of water and half immersing themselves, pressing against wet foliage
or leaves, or landing in a vessel filled with only an inch of water, they will splash
like a songbird, then fly up to an overhang to shake out and rearrange themselves.
Source: Alexander F. Skutch, The Life of the Hummingbird (New York: Vineyard Books,
Inc., 1973), p. 54.
Pictures: click picture(s) for larger version, photo credits, and description.