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Rivoli's Hummingbird


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The spectacular Rivoli's Hummingbird is one of several hummingbird species found in the extreme southwestern U.S. but not regularly elsewhere in the country. The species was known as Magnificent Hummingbird from the 1980s until 2017.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
4.3–5.5 in
11–14 cm
7.1 in
18 cm
0.2–0.3 oz
7–8 g
Other Names
  • Magnificent Hummingbird
  • Colibri de Rivoli (French)
  • Colibrí magnifico, Chupaflor magnifico, Chupamirto verde montero (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Rivoli's Hummingbird is the second-largest hummingbird north of Mexico. Only the Blue-throated Hummingbird is larger.
  • Rivoli’s Hummingbird was named in honor of the Duke of Rivoli, an amateur ornithologist. Anna’s Hummingbird was named after his wife, Anna, the Duchess of Rivoli.
  • The Rivoli's Hummingbird has been known to hybridize with the Blue-throated Hummingbird, Broad-billed Hummingbird, the Violet-crowned Hummingbird, and the Berylline Hummingbird.
  • Rivoli's Hummingbirds have one of the highest recorded heart rates of any vertebrate (range 420–1,200 beats/min)
  • A hummingbird flower mite uses the Rivoli's Hummingbird for transport: hiding in the birds’ nasal passages until they can jump off at a subsequent flower patch.
  • The oldest recorded Rivoli's Hummingbird was a male, and at least 11 years old when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Arizona.


Open Woodland

These birds are most frequently found in dry pine-oak forests at elevations between 5,000 and 9.000 feet. During the breeding season they live in riparian habitats in the ravines of small mountain ranges of southern Arizona and New Mexico—nests are often constructed high in trees overhanging streams. They feed in open areas where their preferred flowers are abundant. Bird feeders may entice them to lower altitudes.



Rivoli's Hummingbirds consume nectar, and their long bills allow them access to the nectar of certain flowers inaccessible to shorter-billed hummingbirds. They catch small insects in the air or glean their prey from foliage. Some evidence suggests that they are more insectivorous than other species of hummingbirds. These birds may consume over 13 meals per hour. Hummingbird feeders appear to have allowed them to expand their range, and males may visit feeders more regularly than females.


Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
2 eggs
Egg Length
0.6–0.7 in
1.4–1.7 cm
Egg Width
0.4–0.4 in
0.9–1.1 cm
Incubation Period
15–19 days
Nestling Period
25 days
Egg Description
White, smooth-surfaced, tiny oval eggs weighing less than a gram.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless and naked.
Nest Description

Nests are placed 6 to 10 feet from the trunk of a tree on a horizontal branch, and at least 19 to 20 feet above the ground. Nests may be placed above streams.

Nest Placement


The nest is an open cup lined with soft downy feathers and mosses. The exterior is covered with lichen, bark, and even seeds, all bound together in spider silk. The nest measures 2.2 inches wide and 1.8m inches deep. The inner cup is 1.4 inches wide and about 1 inch deep.



Males may be highly territorial in some areas and nonterritorial in others, depending on food availability. These birds are “trapliners,” cycling among widely scattered flowers to feed. They are typically subordinate to Blue-throated Hummingbirds. Like other hummingbirds, they go into torpor at night to conserve energy. Wingbeat frequency is about 22 beats per second while hovering. Incubation is by females only.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

There is little information on Rivoli's Hummingbird population trends. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 2 million for the "Magnificent" Hummingbird, which was split into Rivoli's and Talamanca Hummingbirds in 2017. The species rates a 12 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Scale. Rivoli's Hummingbird is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. These birds' restricted range in higher elevations of small isolated mountain ranges in the U.S. mean that forest fires can severely restrict habitat availability. Hummingbird feeders allow unnaturally large populations to be maintained in certain areas when natural food flowers are scarce. Habitat destruction in Mexico may put populations at risk.


Range Map Help

View dynamic map of eBird sightings


Rivoli's Hummingbirds found in the U.S. represent the very northern part of this species’ breeding range. They arrive in March and stay until October when they leave for winter habitats in Central and South America. Birds in the southern portion of the range appear to be nonmigratory, though they may move to higher elevations during the breeding season.

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