Hummingbird is a specialty of Baja California, with an extremely limited
home range. They are less likely to wander than many hummingbirds, yet
at least two records occur north of Mexico. One found in California
attempted to nest, although the nest failed to produce young. Another
individual was curiously found much farther north, in British Columbia.
The species is closely related to the
White-eared Hummingbird, which shares
many of the same plumage characteristics.
Habitat: Preferred habitat is dryland shrubs,
thick shrubby forests, forest edges, and suburbana areas. They
evidently have adapated fairly well to a human presence within their range.
Diet: Typical diet of Hummingbirds, feeding
heavily on nectar. Insects can comprise a large portion of the diet.
Behavior: Xantus's Hummingbirds are less
aggressive than many hummingbird species, and are less likely to strongly
defend feeding areas from other hummingbirds. .
Nesting: The nest is built with plant material
interwoven with spider silk, with the outside of the nest covered in
lichens. Nest placement is anywhere between 3 and 20 feet in height.
As with many hummingbird species, the female alone builds the nest,
incubates the eggs, and raises the young..
Song: Song a series of short rather non-musical
Migration: Xantus's Hummingbirds are permanent
residents in their normal range. However, there are some
short-distance movements in conjunction with availability of flowering
plants. The species is not known to wander widely, and very few records have
occurred outside their normal range.
Feeders: Will attend hummingbird feeders
Conservation Status: At present, Xantus's
Hummingbird seem to have stable populations, and they are quite common in
their normal range. They apparently adapt well to a human presence.
However, their range in Baja California is extremely limited, and any major
disturbance in their home range could thus impact a large portion of the
Xantus's Hummingbird population.
Colored pencil drawing by Terry Sohl