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Allen's Hummingbird

Selasphorus sasin ORDER: APODIFORMES FAMILY: TROCHILIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Extremely similar in appearance to the widespread Rufous Hummingbird, the Allen's Hummingbird breeds only along a narrow strip of coastal California and southern Oregon.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
3.5 in
9 cm
Wingspan
4.3 in
11 cm
Weight
0.1–0.1 oz
2–4 g
Other Names
  • Colibri d'Allen (French)
  • Chuparmirto petirrojo, Zumbador de Allen (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Breeding male and female Allen's Hummingbirds have different habitat preferences. The male sets up a territory overseeing open areas of coastal scrub vegetation or riparian shrubs, where he often perches conspicuously on exposed leafless branches. The female selects nest sites in more densely vegetated areas and forests.
  • Two subspecies of Allen's Hummingbirds are recognized. They differ only slightly in appearance, but sedentarius of very southern California is nonmigratory, and the more northerly breeding, slightly smaller sasin spends the winter in Mexico.
  • The Allen's Hummingbird is remarkably early migrant compared with most North American birds. Northbound birds may depart on spring migration as early as December and arrive on the summer breeding grounds as early as January. Adult males may begin their southward fall migration in mid-May and arrive on winter grounds as early as August.

Habitat


Open Woodland

Breeds in moist coastal areas, scrub, chaparral, and forests. Winters in forest edge and scrub clearings with flowers.

Food


Nectar

Flower nectar, small insects, and tree sap. Comes to hummingbird feeders.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
2 eggs
Egg Description
White.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless, with black skin and some down on back.
Nest Description

Open cup of plant down with an outer layer of grass or leaves, covered on outside with lichens, moss, or pieces of bark held on with spider web. Placed in shrub or on small twig or branch of tree.

Nest Placement

Shrub

Behavior


Hovering

Hovers at flowers and sap wells, catches insects in flight and plucks them from leaves.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Populations may be declining.

Credits

  • Mitchell, D. E. 2000. Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin). In The Birds of North America, No. 501 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

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