The Blue-throated Mountain-gem is the largest hummingbird that nests in the United States, and as the name suggests, the males have iridescent blue throats.
Both male and female Blue-throated Mountain-gems are bronzy-green on the back and grayish below, with white tips on the black tail feathers. They also have a white stripe above and below the eye.
- Lampornis clemenciae
- Length: 4.4 – 5.0 in (11.0 – 12.8 cm)
- Weight: 0.24 – 0.3 oz (6.8 – 8.4 g)
- Wingspan: 2.3 – 3.1 in (5.9 – 7.9 cm)
Mostly resident in Mexico, but some Blue-throated Mountain-gems move north short distances into southeastern Arizona and southwestern Texas.
Habitat And Diet
You can find Blue-throated Mountain-gems in high-elevation mountain woodlands along streams with lots of flowers. They inhabit riparian forests, pine-oak forests, and mixed coniferous forests. Backyards with feeders are the best places to spot Blue-throated-Mountain gems.
Blue-throated Mountain-gems feed on nectar, insects, and spiders. They may favor nectar from flowers but they rely on insects like flies, bugs, beetles, and wasps when flowers are scarce or absent. They feed more in the morning and late afternoon, out of midday heat.
Blue-throated Mountain-gem Call:
Nests of Blue-throated Mountain-gems are larger than most to accommodate their larger size. Females build them on tree branches, rock ledges, houses, sheds, and bridges. They use a combination of spider silk, plant fibers, animal hair, mosses, bark, and plants to hold the nest together. They lay one to two eggs and have one to three broods. Incubation takes around seventeen to nineteen days.
Male Blue-throated Mountain-gems sing a “whisper song”, a soft song to attract females. When a female’s attention is piqued, she will also begin singing a song similar to the male’s. This kind of duet is not common among other hummingbirds in the US.