Distribution / Habitat
The Black-Chinned Hummingbird 's breeding range stretches from southern British Columbia in Canada through Idaho and Nevada, south to northern Mexico, and from coastal California, Arizona through Texas, where they are relatively common spring and summer residents (particularly in the western half). They have also been reported in Arkansas, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South and North Carolina, and Washington State. They are rare / accidental vagrants to District of Columbia / Washington, D.C.
They migrate to southern California, southern Arizona, southern Texas or Mexico for the winter (Peterson 1961; Gough et al. 1998). This long journey of 800 - 1600 km (500 - 1,00 miles) requires them to increase their body weight by 25-50% before the migration to meet the physical demands associated with this immense task (del Hoyo et al. 1999; Terres 1980; Baker 2001).
They are found in a wide range of different habitats, including lowland deserts, semi-wooded canyons, chaparral, mountainous forests and urbanized areas with tall trees and flowering shrubs and vines.
Because of their small size, they are vulnerable to insect-eating birds and animals.
The Black-chinned Hummingbirds average 8.25 - 9.5 cm (3.2 - 3.7 inches) in length, and weigh between 3.0 -3.5 g (0.11 - 0.12 oz). Females are generally larger than males.
Adults have a metallic green upper plumage, a whitish under plumage with green flanks (sides), and a white spot behind their eyes. The black bill is fairly straight, long and slender.
The adult male can easily be identified by his velvet black face and chin. The upper throat is black, but there is a glossy blue-violet band on the lower throat area (only visible in the right light conditions), bordered by a white collar below. His tail is dark and forked.
The female has a green face, white chest and throat area with a few black spots. The female has white tips on the outer feathers of her dark, rounded tail.