Blue-throated Mountain-gem

Silhouette HummingbirdsHummingbirds

Blue-throated Mountain-gem

Lampornis clemenciae
  • ORDER: Caprimulgiformes
  • FAMILY: Trochilidae
Basic Description

Largest of the hummingbird species that nest in the United States, the Blue-throated Mountain-gem is an assertive presence at feeders and flower patches. Males have a brilliant sapphire-colored gorget that glitters in good light; both sexes have double white stripes on the face and gray underparts. This Mexican species barely reaches the U.S. in southeastern Arizona and southwestern Texas, where it visits streamside flowerbanks and gardens. Unusual among hummingbirds, both female and male have complex songs, sometimes given in a duet during courtship.

More ID Info
image of range map for Blue-throated Mountain-gemRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

To find a Blue-throated Mountain-gem, visit the “sky island” mountain ranges of southeastern Arizona or the Chisos Mountains of Texas. Birding lodges, B&Bs, and visitor centers with hummingbird feeders are good places to find them. To see them in a more wild setting, walk trails or roads along flower-lined streams, and listen for the male’s loud, sweet chip note every 1–2 seconds. He typically sings from a fairly high, exposed song perch that is easily found.

Other Names
  • Colibrí Gorjiazul (Spanish)
  • Colibri à gorge bleue (French)

Backyard Tips

If you live within their range, Blue-throated Mountain-gems may visit a sugar-water feeder or a hummingbird garden in your yard. For feeders, use a ratio of one part table sugar dissolved in four parts water, and don’t use food coloring. Learn more about feeding hummingbirds. Here’s more about creating a hummingbird garden.

  • Cool Facts