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Allen's Hummingbird

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 hummingbird.

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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Pictures: click picture(s) for larger version, photo credits, and description.

Select a hummingbird by its name:
(in alphabetical order)

Allen's Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird
Blue-throated Hummingbird


Booted Racket-tail Hummingbird


Broad-billed Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird


Calliope Hummingbird


Costa's Hummingbird
Crimson Topaz Hummingbird


Long-tailed Hermit Hummingbird


Magnificent (Rivoli's) Hummingbird
Peruvian Sheartail Hummingbird   Plain-capped Starthroat Hummingbird   Red-billed Streamertail Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird   Rufous Hummingbird   Sword-billed Hummingbird
Violet-crowned Hummingbird   White-eared Hummingbird   Xantus' Hummingbird

Select a hummingbird's nest by its name: (in alphabetical order)

Allen's Hummingbird (nest) & another

Anna's Hummingbird (nest) & another

Bearded Helmetcrest Hummingbird (nest)
Black-chinned Hummingbird (nest) & another & with mother


Broad-billed Hummingbird (eggs only)


Buff-bellied Hummingbird (nest)
Calliope Hummingbird (nest)


Costa's Hummingbird (nest) & another & with mother


Fork-tailed Emerald Hummingbird (nest)
Giant Hummingbird (nest)


Glittering-bellied Emerald Hummingbird (nest)


Golden-bellied Starfrontlet Hummingbird (nest)
Purple-throated Sunangel Hummingbird (nest)   Ruby-throated Hummingbird (nest)   Rufous Hummingbird (nest) & with parents
Sappho Comet Hummingbird (nest)   Xantus' Hummingbird (nest)  

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