Buff-bellied HummingbirdAmazilia yucatanensis

adult
Glenn Bartley/VIREO
adult male
Brian E. Small/VIREO
adult female
Dr. Joseph Turner/VIREO
immature male
Dr. Joseph Turner/VIREO
adult
Greg Lasley/VIREO

Family

Description

This is the only hummingbird to nest regularly in southernmost Texas. It is our most common representative of the widespread genus Amazilia, a group of hummingbirds found all over the American tropics.

Habitat

Woods, thickets. In Texas found mostly in semi-open habitats, such as woodland edges or clearings, areas of brush and scattered trees. Sometimes around citrus groves. A regular resident of suburban neighborhoods, especially those with trees and extensive gardens.

Feeding Diet

Mostly nectar and insects. Takes nectar from flowers, and will feed on tiny insects as well. Often visits red tubular flowers such as turk's-cap and red salvia. Will also feed on sugar-water mixtures in hummingbird feeders.

Feeding Behavior

At flowers, usually feeds while hovering, extending its bill and long tongue deep into the center of the flower. At feeders, may either hover or perch. To catch small insects, may fly out and grab them in midair, or hover to pluck them from foliage.

Nesting

Breeding behavior is not well known. In Texas, the nesting season extends at least from April to August. Nest site is usually in large shrub or small deciduous tree, such as hackberry or Texas ebony, usually only a few feet above the ground. Nest (built by female) is a cup of plant fibers, stems, shreds of bark, spider webs, lined with plant down. The outside is camouflaged with bits of lichen, flower petals. Eggs: 2. White. Incubation is by female only, probably 2 weeks or longer. Young: Female feeds the young, sticking her bill deep into their mouths and regurgitating tiny insects, perhaps mixed with nectar. May raise two broods per year.

Eggs

2. White. Incubation is by female only, probably 2 weeks or longer. Young: Female feeds the young, sticking her bill deep into their mouths and regurgitating tiny insects, perhaps mixed with nectar. May raise two broods per year.

Young

Female feeds the young, sticking her bill deep into their mouths and regurgitating tiny insects, perhaps mixed with nectar. May raise two broods per year.

Conservation

Numbers probably declined in the past with loss of habitat, but current population seems to be stable.

Range

In southern Texas, more common in summer, but some remain through the winter. A few move north along the coast in fall, to winter on upper Texas coast or in Louisiana.

Listen

foraging calls

Similar Species

adult

Berylline Hummingbird

Common in the uplands of Mexico, this colorful hummingbird first appeared in the U.S. in 1964. Since then it has become almost a regular visitor, with one or two found almost every summer in the mountains of southeastern Arizona; it has nested there a few times. In canyons near the border it may visit feeders or flowers. While perched in trees, it sometimes gives a soft three-noted call, sounding like a tiny trumpet.

Vireo

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