Mexican Violetear

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Colibri thalassinus

Mexican Violetear

The Mexican violetear is roughly medium-sized by hummingbird standards.

It averages around 3.8 - 4.7 inches in total length. Its bill is black and mostly straight with only a slight downward curve and measures from 0.71 to 0.98 inches.

Body mass can vary from 4.8 - 5.6 grams. Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 2.3 - 2.7 inches and the tail is 1.4 - 1.7 inches. It has a wingspan of 4.7 inches.

It is shining green above with a glittering violet ear-patch on the sides of its neck. Throat and chest are a glittering green with a shining green belly.

Tail is a metallic blue-green with more bronzy central feathers and a prominent black subterminal band.

Solitary males sing from high, exposed twigs in their territory every day. Their song is a monotonously repeated sharp and dry “tsu-tzeek” at a rate of about one call per second.

Primarily feed on nectar and small insects.

Common habitats are in the canopy and borders of subtropical and lower temperate forest, secondary woodland and scrub, and clearings and gardens in the subtropical zone.

It is recorded mostly between altitudes of 1,200 to 2,300 meters, though they will sometimes wander as far down as 500 meters in search of food sources.

It generally prefers more humid and high-altitude areas, such as cloud forests.

Breeds from the highlands of southern Mexico south to Nicaragua.

It is a rare but annual nonbreeding visitor to the United States, primarily southern and central Texas, with scattered records as far north as extreme southern Canada.

According to IUCN, it can be found in much of montane areas of the northern Andes, stretching from Bolivia to Venezuela.

Like most hummingbirds, it is a solitary nester. The male's only involvement in the breeding process is to attract and mate with the female.

The female is then responsible for choosing a nest location, generally on a low, small horizontal branch in a protected area.

Nest is small and built from various plant materials, spider webs, and down woven together to form a sturdy cup structure.

The female lays 2 small, white eggs and incubates them alone for about 14 - 18 days.


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