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Allen's Hummingbird Selasphorus sasin


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Allen's Hummingbird
credit: Lee Karney

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Family: Trochilidae, Hummingbirds view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has green crown and back and rufous tail, tail coverts, and underparts, except for pale chest band. Throat often looks dark, but iridescent red gorget may be seen at certain angles in direct sunlight. ADULT FEMALE Has green upperparts and mainly pale underparts, with rufous on flanks and spots on throat (central red spot seen at certain angles). Tail is mainly rufous with black band and white tips to outer feathers. JUVENILE Resembles adult female, but males soon acquire adult characters.

Dimensions Length: 3-3 1/2" (8-9 cm)

Habitat Common breeding visitor (mainly Feb-Jun) to coastal California, favoring chaparral, parks, and meadows. Most winter in Mexico, but small resident population exists in southern California.

Observation Tips Easy to see within range in spring, but beware confusion with migrant Rufous. Any likely looking bird seen in southern California Nov-Jan is probably Allen's.

Range Northwest, Southwest, California

Voice Call is a sharp tik-tik.

Discussion Hard to separate from Rufous in many plumages, although classic male is distinctive. Breeding and winter ranges are useful guidelines in identification. Tail has pointed feather tips. Sexes are dissimilar.