Costas Hummingbird (Calypte costae)

costas hummingbird by Mark Chappell

[order] APODIFORMES | [family] Trochilidae | [latin] Calypte costae | [UK] Costas Hummingbird | [FR] Colibri de Costa | [DE] Costakolibri | [ES] Colibri de Costa | [NL] Costa’s Kolibrie


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Atthis costae
Calypte costae NA sw w Mexico

Physical charateristics

Male: Note the purple or amethyst throat and crown. Feathers of gorget project markedly at the sides.b Female:
Very similar to female Black-chin, but prefers more arid conditions. Voices differ. Often soars from one flower clump to another.

Listen to the sound of Costas 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.: 9 cm
incubation min.: 15 days incubation max.: 16 days
fledging min.: 20 days fledging max.: 21 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


North America : Southwest


Deserts, washes, mesas, sage scrub, arid hillsides.
Mostly in dry and open habitats having good variety of low plant life, such as washes and streamsides in Sonoran desert, lower parts of dry canyons, coastal sage scrub areas. Rarely moves up into mountain meadows when not breeding.


In courtship display, male flies high, then zooms down past perched female and climbs again, making shrill high-pitched whistle during dive; also gives same whistled call while perched. One male may mate with several females.
Nest: Site is in rather open or sparsely leafed shrub or small tree, sometimes in yucca or cactus, usually 2-
8′ above ground. Placed on horizontal or diagonal branch, usually in open spot with good visibility. Nest (built by female) is an open cup of plant fibers, bits of leaves and fl
owers, feathers, spider webs; usually has a gray look. Female continues to add to nest during incubation period.
Eggs: 2. White. Incubation is by female only, 15-18 days.
Young: Female feeds young by inserting her bill into their open mouths, then regurgitating food, probably mostly insects mixed with some nectar. Age of young at first flight about 20-23 days.

Feeding habits

Mostly nectar and small insects.
Feeds on nectar from flowers, including those of desert natives such as agave, chuparosa, desert honeysuckle, fairy-duster; also comes to garden flowers. Drinks sugar-water and sometimes oozing sap. Eats many small insects and spiders.
Behavior: Takes nectar from flowers while hovering, sometimes while perched. Takes tiny insects caught in midair or from foliage, flying out from a perch to capture them. Will come to feeders filled with sugar-water.


This species has a very 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.
Costas Hummingbird status Least Concern


Southwestern United States, northwestern Mexico.
b Migration: Many that nest in deserts in spring migrate west to the coast for other seasons. However, where flowers are present all year (as in suburban gardens), increasing numbers now remain all year.

Distribution map

Costas Hummingbird distribution range map

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