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Violet-Crowned Hummingbird

Amazilia violiceps


This hummingbird is unique from other hummingbirds I have seen, as it has a white chest and belly. It as well has an blue-violet crown, its namesake. The bill is red with a dark tip, as pictured.


This hummingbird was spotted at the Audubon Patron facility in Patagonia, AZ. This is a riparian area a few miles north of the US/Mexico border…semi-arid and hilly. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, this is a neotropical bird which “...nests almost exclusively in the Arizona sycamore tree (Platanus wrightii), which, in the United States, is limited to the riparian zones of the arid Southwest.” The northern range of this hummingbird just touches southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico in the US, and accordingly is difficult to spot anywhere in the US but these areas. It is interesting to note that according to the Audubon Field Guide...this bird was not even observed nesting in the US until 1959. In checking the 'Search' mechanism in Noah...this may be the second posting of a Violet-Crowned from a US location.


This has been one of my hummingbird “photo bucket list” subjects, and for the first time I was able to get printable photos in Patagonia. These birds are not widespread in Arizona and the US, and when spotted are very shy and difficult to approach and photo. According to sources I checked, not much is known of this hummingbird’s biology and habits. Its main resident population is in Mexico. It is not considered endangered or threatened…but more studies are needed to better establish their status.

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Jim Nelson
Spotted by
Jim Nelson

Arizona, USA

Lat: 31.54, Long: -110.76

Spotted on Feb 26, 2016
Submitted on Mar 7, 2016

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