As Pictured, this is a larger-sized hummingbird with an iridescent blue-green gorget. The head and sides are a combination of colors which change depending upon how light strikes them. Interesting fact…this bird has one of the highest recorded heart rates of any vertebrate at 420 - 1,200 beats per minute.
This bird was spotted near the top of Mt Lemmon in Arizona at about 8,000 foot elevation. Mt Lemmon is a part of the Santa Catalina Mountains covered in this area by the Coronado National Forest. The forest is a combination of pine-oak, with ponderosa pine, quaking aspen, and juniper. These hummers are found only in southeast Arizona and southwestern New Mexico in the US, ranging as far south as Honduras and Nicaragua.
Hummingbirds, mostly males, have a gorget…a term which dates back to medieval times when knights-in-armor wore a gorget. The gorget back then was a metal collar used to protect the throat. The hummingbird gorget serves several purposes…mainly as part of their mating ritual to attract females, and as a warning to other males to stay away. When one first spots a Rivoli’s, it is generally dark to green-gray colored, with a noticeable white spot behind its eye, as in photos 3, 4, and 6 . However, like many hummers, males are very skilled at using the light to display their striking iridescent colors in the head and gorget. In the photos above (all of the same bird), photos 2 and 3 show few iridescent colors from the side, yet when it turns his head, the full blue-green gorget displays as in photos 1 and 5. These birds are very adept at turning their gorget at just the right angle to ward off an intruder, or impress a female. Good luck with that.
Lat: 32.44, Long: -110.75
Spotted on Jun 22, 2018
Submitted on Oct 15, 2018
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