Calliope Hummingbird (Stellula calliope)

Calliope Hummingbird

[order] APODIFORMES | [family] Trochilidae | [latin] Stellula calliope | [UK] Calliope Hummingbird | [FR] Colibri calliope | [DE] Sternelfe | [ES] Chupaflor rafaguitas (Mex) | [NL] Calliope-kolibrie


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Colius calliope
Stellula calliope
Stellula calliope
Stellula calliope NA w w Mexico

Physical charateristics

The smallest hummer normally found in the United States.b Male: Throat with purple-red rays on white ground
(may be folded like a dark inverted V on a white throat); the only United States hummingbird with this effect. Female:
Very similar to females of Broad-tailed and Rufous hummingbirds (buffy sides, rufous base of tail), but decidedly smaller; rusty on sides paler.

Listen to the sound of Calliope Hummingbird

[audio: Hummingbird.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 7 cm size max.: 8 cm
incubation min.: 15 days incubation max.: 16 days
fledging min.: 18 days fledging max.: 21 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


North America : West


Forest glades, canyons, usually in mountains.
Breeds mostly from 4,000′ up to near treeline. Favors open shrubby areas, especially near streams, and may be most common in second growth several years after fire or logging. Winters mostly in pine-oak woods of mountains in Mexico, and migrants occur in
both mountains and lowlands.


Male establishes breeding territory, drives away other males. Male has U-shaped courtship flight, rising 30-100′ and diving steeply with a popping and zinging sound at bottom of dive, then rising again. Male hovers before female with throat feathers
fully spread.
Nest: Site is usually in pine or other conifer, sometimes in deciduous shrub. Usually 6-40′ up, can be 2-
70′ above ground. Usually saddled on twig or branch directly under large overhanging branch or foliage for shelter; site may be used more than one year. Ne
st (built by female) is a compact cup of plant down, moss, bark fibers, with lichens on outside, held together with spider webs.
Eggs: 2. White. Incubation is by female only, 15-16 days.
Young: Female feeds young, inserting bill in open mouth of nestling. Probably feeds young mostly on tiny insects. Age of young at first flight about 18-21 days.

Feeding habits

Mostly nectar and small insects.
Feeds on nectar from flowers, especially red tubular flowers; also feeds at other types of flowers. Drinks sugar-water and flowing sap. Eats many small insects and spiders.
Behavior: Takes nectar while hovering at flowers; will also feed while perching if conv
enient perch is available. Takes tiny insects caught in midair or from foliage, flying out from a perch to capture them. Regularly visits feeders filled with sugar-water solution, and will visit drillings made in bark by sapsuckers to drink oozing sap.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Calliope Hummingbird status Least Concern


Southwestern Canada to Baja California. Winters in Mexico.
b Migration:
Moves northwest in early spring, mostly through Pacific lowlands; moves southeast in very early fall (beginning in July), mostly through Rocky Mountain region. Adult males migrate slightly earlier than females or young in both seasons.

Distribution map

Calliope Hummingbird distribution range map

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