Xantus' Hummingbird or Black-fronted Hummingbird
Scientific name: Hylocharis xantusii
Length: 3 1/2 inches (8.89 cm)
Identification: Both sexes have a red bill with a dusky top. The female has
a grayish-brown forehead. The male has a white patch above and behind the eye, a
brushed green body, and a rufous belly.
Habitat and range: This hummer is normally found only in Baja California.
FYI: Since Xantus' hummingbird inhabits only the Baja peninsula, it is properly
a Mexican hummingbird. North American hummingbirds -- ruby-throated, Anna's, Allen's,
Costa's, rufous, black-chinned, calliope, and broad-tailed -- put on spectacular
mating displays, with the male diving sometimes 100 feet (30.5 m), then arcing upward
in a u-turn to impress the female. The female may join in the precipitous ascent
and diving. In Peru, the female Andean hillstar hummingbird feeds the male -- the
way to a man's heart is through his stomach -- before the pair mates. Source:
Alexander F. Skutch, The Life of the Hummingbird (New York: Vineyard Books, Inc.,
1973), p. 65-66. It has been noted by some naturalists that the behavior of hummingbirds
can be compared more to insects than birds in disposition, for instance, they will
often hover unperturbed within inches of man, choosing to circle rather than flee,
if swatted at. Source: "Hummingbird," The Audubon Nature Encyclopedia,
1965, Vol. 5, p. 892.
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