U.S. range of the Costa's Hummingbird normally only includes the deserts of the
Southwest. Unlike some other western hummingbird species, they are not
known for often wandering widely from that range, and they are thus only
extremely rare visitors to South Dakota. Males are generally distinctive,
with very long, flared gorgets of a brilliant purple (see photo to the right).
As with other hummingbird species in the West, they have adopted well to a human
presence, with increased numbers and range due to year-round availability of
nectar and flower sources in many urban areas.
Habitat: In normal range, typically found in desert
habitats, primarily in low washes and streamsides where vegetation is thicker
than in the upland desert. Also has adapted to living in urban settings.
Diet: Feeds primarily on nectar, especially from
desert plants such as agave and ocotillo.
Behavior: Feeds in typical hummingbird fashion at
flowers and other nectar sources.
Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota
Song: Has a thin tink call, and high chattery
twittery chase calls.
Migration: Birds in the U.S. portion of their range
are typically migratory, moving southward into Mexico in winter, although a few
remain north of the border. Within the U.S., birds breeding in the desert
typically breed in late winter or very early spring, and then move westward to
coastal areas for the hottest weather of the summer.
Anna's Hummingbird, Black-chinned
Conservation Status: Populations appear to be stable,
with local fluctuations where desert habitat has been destroyed.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Costa's Hummingbird
Photo Information: May 6th, 2008 - Tucson, Arizona - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text
links below for additional, higher-resolution Costa's Hummingbird photos.