White-eared Hummingbird

Distribution / Range

The White-eared Hummingbirds have a wide range that includes Canada, United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Belize and Costa Rica.

They breed in southeastern Arizona (Huachuca Mountains: Miller Canyon, Ramsey Canyon - stray to White Mountains, the Mogollon Rim, and the Madrean sky islands), western and southwestern New Mexico, and west Texas in the USA ; Sierra Madre Oriental (northwestern Mexico), Sierra Madre Occidental (western Mexico), Cordillera Neovolcanica (a mountain range across central Mexico), southern Mexico to southern Nicaragua.

White-eared Hummingbirds occurred as vagrants eastward to Mississippi and Michigan. They could conceivably have reached Massachusetts as well.

Resident (non-migratory) populations exist in central Sonora (a state located in northwest Mexico) south to southern Central America.

White-eared Hummingbird, Basilinna leucotisDescription

This medium-sized hummingbird averages 9-10 cm (3.5 - 3.9 inches) in length, and weighs approximately 3-4 g (0.10 - 0.14 oz).

Common Physical Traits: The upper plumage and chest of the adult is mostly green. The undertail feathers are mostly white. The tail is dark and straight.

Their bills are long, thin, and straight, with red at the base. The most distinctive feature is their white ear stripe for which this species was named. It is more boldly colored in the male.

The adult male: His throat is a metallic turquoise green-blue. His crown and face is violet and black. His back is deep green with a rusty wash. Their slightly notched tail is bronze green - the outer feathers are darker. His lower abdomen and undertail feathers are whitish.

The bill of the male is short, straight and very slender. It is red in coloration with a fairly small black tip. A broad blue violet band encircles the base of bill in mature males.

The adult female is less colorful than the male. Her pale-cream colored throat has golden green to turquoise green speckles. Her back and crown (top of the head) are deep green. She has a broad white line behind the eye with a broad blackish stripe below. Her under plumage is buffy-white spotted with green. Her tail feathers (rectrices) look like the male's, but the lateral ones are tipped with greyish-white.

Her bill is black with some red-orange at the base. Her tail is slightly notched and her outer tail feathers are tipped whitish.

Avianweb Species Page

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White-eared Hummingbird