Costa’s Hummingbird: The Jewel of the Cloud Forest

One of the most beautiful and distinctive species of hummingbird is the Costa’s Hummingbird, which is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico.

Named after French nobleman Louis Marie Pantaleon Costa, the Costa’s Hummingbird is easily recognizable by its iridescent purple crown and throat patch, which contrast sharply with its grayish-brown body.

It is a small bird that measures 3-3.5 inches in length and weighs 3-4 gm. The adult male has glossy green upper parts with a grayish wash on its flanks and belly. Its tail is dark blue-black, with a white band near the tips of the outer feathers.

It is a nonmigratory species found year-round in its breeding range. The Costa’s Hummingbird feeds on nectar from flowers using its long tongue and the insects and spiders it captures in flight.

Size and Identification of a Costa’s Hummingbird

Costa’s hummingbirds are one of the smallest birds found in North America. These charming, colorful birds are a common sight in many western states and are easily distinguishable from other hummingbird species due to their small size and unique coloration.

Scientific Name

The scientific name of Costa’s Hummingbird is Calypte costae. This tiny hummingbird species is native to the desert and scrubland regions of the Southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. It is found in various habitats, including desert washes, gardens, and riparian areas.

Length

It is a species of North American hummingbird commonly found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. It is important to note that the size and identification of this species can vary depending on where it is located. The Costa’s Hummingbird has a length of approximately 3-3.5 inches.

Wingspan

Their short and pointed wings allow the birds to hover and move quickly in flight. In addition, Costa’s hummingbirds have relatively longer wings than other hummingbirds, which is thought to help them migrate more efficiently. The wingspan size of Costa’s hummingbirds is up to 11 cm (4.3 in).

Weight

The average weight of Costa’s hummingbird is typically between 3-4 grams. This is significantly lighter than other hummingbird species and roughly equivalent to a penny’s weight. Males tend to weigh slightly more than females, but the difference is typically only a fraction of a gram.

The Coloration of a Costa’S Hummingbird

The Costa’s Hummingbird is a beautiful and exotic hummingbird native to Southern California and Northern Baja. As one of the smallest bird species in the world, their beauty and gracefulness are remarkable. Not only are these birds captivating to watch, but their coloration is something to behold.

Plumage

The unique plumage of Costa’s hummingbird is a beautiful combination of iridescent colors, with males typically exhibiting more vibrant colors than females. Males usually have a dark, iridescent green head and back, and their wings and tail feathers are dark black with a greenish-blue iridescence.

Their chest and belly are rich, cinnamon-rufous, while the throat and forehead are bright, iridescent purple-red. Females, in comparison, have a grayish-green head and back, with the wings and tail feathers being dark black with a greenish-blue iridescence.

Differences In Male And Female Colors

Males have a dark and glossy green back, a forked tail with different shades of blue and black, a white chest and belly, and a bright red throat and crown. Females are a bit less colorful and have a dull grey-green back, a forked tail with predominantly grey and white feathers, and a white chest and belly.

Seasonal Changes In Coloration

They are known for their iridescent, vibrant coloring, which changes with the seasons. In the winter months, the birds present with a dull, greyish-brown hue resulting from the molt.

As spring approaches and temperatures rise, the birds undergo a color transformation as they develop their breeding plumage. A mix of green and blue-grey hues on the back and wings and a distinctive rusty-reddish coloration on the throat and chest characterizes this breeding plumage.

Breeding Range of Costa’s Hummingbird

The Costa’s Hummingbird is a species of hummingbird found in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. The breeding range of this hummingbird is limited to low-elevation areas of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.

This species is found in dry, desert-like regions with chaparral, scrub, and grassland habitats. It is most commonly observed in California, Arizona, and Nevada but may also be found in isolated areas of Utah, New Mexico, and Baja, California.

During the summer months, it is common for the Costa’s Hummingbird to inhabit yards, gardens, and parks in urban areas, often coming to feeders. In the winter months, the species withdraws to lower elevations in its breeding range, primarily in California and Baja California.

Migratory Behavior of the Costa’s Hummingbirds

These Hummingbird (Calypte costae) is a species of hummingbird found in the western United States and northern Mexico. It is a migratory species and uses different strategies depending on the population.

Some populations migrate seasonally in response to changing temperatures and food availability, while others are largely sedentary. During winter, Costa’s Hummingbirds can be found in the southern United States and Mexico, while they breed in the western US and Canada during the summer.

This species exhibits a broad range of migratory behavior, with some individuals remaining in the same location year-round. In contrast, others migrate hundreds of miles between breeding and non-breeding areas.

Dietary Habits of Costa’s Hummingbirds

Costa’s hummingbirds, native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, are small birds with an average body length of three inches and a wingspan of four inches.

They are known for their iridescent plumage and sweet call. Regarding their dietary habits, these hummingbirds primarily consume nectar from flowering plants, with some also consuming small insects and spiders for added protein.

When foraging for nectar, Costa’s hummingbirds have visited various plants, including agave, desert honeysuckle, and cactus flowers. As they feed, they use their long, curved beaks to reach deep into the flowers and extract the nectar. They typically provide several times throughout the day to meet their energetic demands.

Species of Costa’s Hummingbird

Are Blue-Throated Hummingbirds Found in the Cloud Forest?

The blue-throated hummingbird in mexican highlands is indeed found in the cloud forest. These brightly colored creatures inhabit the montane forests of Mexico, particularly in areas with a cooler climate and dense vegetation. Their striking blue throat feathers make them a captivating sight amidst the misty canopy of the cloud forest.

Conclusion

The Costa’s Hummingbird is a small bird with iridescent green plumage. The male has a purple throat, and the female has a white throat. They are found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. Their breeding range is from central California to northwestern Mexico.

These birds are important pollinators of desert plants. The migration of Costa’s Hummingbird is a fascinating and complex process. It can take them many weeks and even months of travel to get to their destination.

But their hard work and dedication are well worth it when they arrive in their wintering grounds’ lush, flowering gardens. It’s a remarkable feat of nature and a testament to the strength and determination of these tiny birds.

Resources:

  • https://www.uchastings.edu/people/erica-costa/
  • https://www.costamesaca.gov/community/community-foundations/costa-mesa-high-school-foundation
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19207247/

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