Blue-throated Mountaingem

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Lampornis clemenciae

Blue-throated Mountaingem

The Blue-throated Mountaingem, also known as the Blue-throated Hummingbird is a large hummingbird with a rather long, slightly decurved bill. It has a long, full tail and long wings.

Both sexes are 4.3 - 4.7 inches in length and weight of 8.1 - 8.6 grams.

Males are bronzy green above with white lines above and below the eye and a glittering blue throat that can appear dark in poor light. They are gray below with whitish tips to blackish tail feathers.

Females and juveniles are similar but lack the blue throat.

Males sing two types of songs: a simple " peep song," which sounds like a squeaky wheel lasting about 1 second, and a quiet but complex "whisper song" lasting as long as 8 seconds.

The female is also reported to sing during the breeding season to attract the attention of males.

A male song differs in several respects from other oscine birds in that it uses sharp atonal forceful trills and clicks, and has an unusually large vocal range of 1.8 to 30 kHz.

The bird also uses ultrasonic vibrations which are not for communication, but possibly serve to flush out and disorient its insect prey.

Feeds on nectar from flowers and catches insects in flight and by gleaning from vegetation.

In winter, sap from wells drilled by sapsuckers may substitute for nectar.

Found in canyons and mountains with mixed pine-oak forests.

Common in Mexico; limited range in U.S.

The female builds the nest on tree branches and rock ledges as well as houses, sheds, bridges, and other artificial supports.

The nest is held together with spider silk, plant fibers, animal hair, feathers, and even spider egg sacs and cocoons on the interior; and mosses, bark, and other plant matter on the exterior.

She lays 1 - 2 dull white, smooth and oval eggs, and incubates for 17 - 19 days.



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