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Allen's Hummingbird


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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Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Tiny bird, small and compact hummingbird.
  • Extensive rusty in most plumages.
  • Male with iridescent red throat and shiny green back.

Male Description

Gorget (throat) iridescent scarlet. Gorget with elongated feathers projecting slightly to the sides. Top of head and back dull metallic bronze or bronze-green. Sides of face, sides of chest, and flanks plain cinnamon-rufous. Tail feathers pointed, and colored orange with dark tips. Outermost tail feather very narrow. Wings dusky. Chest white. Belly and undertail coverts buffy. White spot behind black eye. Legs and feet dusky. Occasional individuals have orange in rump.

Female Description

Chin, throat, and chest dull white. Center of throat with variably sized patch of red feathers. Sides and flanks cinnamon-rufous. Back metallic bronze-green, head slightly duller. Wings dusky. Outermost three pairs of tail feathers orange at bases, black in the middle, and white on the tips. Middle pair of tail feathers bronze-green, dusky at tips, with orange edges to green base. Next pair out with rufous base, then bronze-green, and black tips. Undertail coverts pale cinnamon.

Immature Description

Immature similar to adult female, but has less spotting on throat and less rufous on flanks; male more rusty in the base of the tail.

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Similar Species

Similar Species

  • Rufous Hummingbird is very similar; females and immature birds nearly indistinguishable in the field. Male Rufous Hummingbird has an orange back and rump. Beware the rare Rufous Hummingbird male with a green back; if it has any completely rufous feathers, not rufous-edged, on the back, it is a Rufous Hummingbird. The outermost tail feather, difficult to see in the field, is broad in all plumages of Rufous Hummingbird.
  • Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird and Calliope Hummingbird have buffy sides and rufous in the tail. Calliope is pale buffy on the sides, has little rufous in the tail, and has a very short tail, about the same length as the wings when perched. Broad-tailed has paler buffy sides, has little rufous in the tail, and lacks the central red spot on the throat.

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