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Rivoli's Hummingbird

Eugenes fulgens


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.

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Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 4 months ago

Thanks, Antonio...I appreciate the comment.

Another great series Jim,with a very good info,a perfect spotting,congrats on the well deserved SOTW and thanks for sharing

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 4 months ago

Thanks, Remkinloch and Neil.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 4 months ago

Congratulations, Jim.

remkinloch 4 months ago

Congratulations on your SOTW Jim. Six incredible images and all so different, the close up detail on the feathers is beautiful.

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 months ago

Thanks Rob, much appreciated.

triggsturner 5 months ago

Great photos and notes as usual Jim. Congrats on your SOTW. Wonderful little bird.

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 months ago

Thanks, Brian.

Brian38 5 months ago

Congrats Jim on a well deserved SOTW! Great pics and info (as usual) of this beautiful hummingbird!

DanielePralong 5 months ago

You're welcome Jim! Thank you again for all your outstanding contributions.

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 months ago

Thanks, just made my week!

DanielePralong 5 months ago

Congratulations Jim, you've done it again! In a week with tough competition your Rivoli's Hummingbird has been voted Spotting of the Week. A superb series of pictures with great colors and textures, complemented by notes directly relevant to the images, won you the vote.

"What do a knight in armor and our Spotting of the Week, the dazzling Rivoli's Hummingbird, have in common? A gorget! In the Middle Ages, a gorget referred to the metal collar part of an armor designed to protect the throat and chest. In birds, in particular male hummingbirds from North America, a gorget refers to the patch of iridescent colored feathers on the throat or upper breast. Check out the spotting and marvel at how skilled the Rivoli's Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens) is at changing the apparent color of its gorget feathers by turning its head".



Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 months ago

Thanks, Maria.

Maria dB
Maria dB 5 months ago

So nice to have different views and the notes are interesting!

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 months ago

Thanks, Daniele!

DanielePralong 5 months ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated Jim!

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 months ago

Thanks, Ziatan and Greg.

Zlatan Celebic
Zlatan Celebic 5 months ago

yes, absolutely gorgeous

Greg Shchepanek
Greg Shchepanek 5 months ago

What great closeups Jim...beautiful spotting.

Arizona, USA

Lat: 32.44, Long: -110.75

Spotted on Jun 22, 2018
Submitted on Oct 15, 2018

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