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Costa's Hummingbird

Scientific name: Calypte costae

Length: 3 - 3 1/2 inches (8 - 9 cm)

Identification: Costa's hummingbird has a long straight bill, a bright green back and crown, white underparts, a dark tail, and greenish flanks. The male has a distinctive, iridescent purple crown and gorget (like a purple mask extending down the neck). The female has a white chin and underside, and like many female hummingbirds, its dark tail has white tips on its outer tail feathers.

Habitat and range: Found in the low desert of southern California, Arizona, and Nevada, Costa's hummingbird is at home in dry country.

FYI: The more exotic in appearance of the hummingbirds are most abundant in South America, e.g., the white-tipped sicklebill hummingbird (Eutoxeres aquila) with its hooked bill is found in Colombia and Ecuador, the sword-billed hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) with its longer-than-the-rest-of-the-bird bill is found in northern South America, etc. Hummingbirds catch insects in flight with superb control of flight rather than a wide, scooping bill. They may actually run up on the insect, necessitating only the effort to swallow it. Source: Alexander F. Skutch, The Life of the Hummingbird (New York: Vineyard Books, Inc., 1973), p. 52. The greatest concentration of the approximately 319 species species of hummingbirds is to be found in the Andes Mountains of Columbia. Source: "Hummingbird," The Audubon Nature Encyclopedia, 1965, Vol. 5, p. 892.

Outside links:

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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Hummingbird Pictures Guide, and may NOT be used for other purposes.

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