White-necked Jacobins (Hummingbird)

Hummingbird Information

White-necked Jacobin

White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora) The White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora) is also commonly known as Great Jacobin, Jacobin Hummingbird or Collared Hummingbird.

Alternate (Global) Names

Spanish: Colibrí cuello blanco, Colibrí de Nuca Blanca, Colibrí Nuca Blanca, Colibrí Nuqiblanco, Colibrí Nuquiblanco, Jacobino Nuquiblanco ... Portuguese: Beija-flor-azul-de-rabo-branco, beija-flor-branco, beija-flor-da-copa ... Italian: Giacobino collobianco, Succhiafiori collobianco... French: Colibri jacobin, Jacobine ... Czech: Kolibrík belokrký, kolib?ík b?lokrký ... Danish: Hvidnakket Jacobin ... German: Finschia, Jakobiner Kolibri, Jakobinerkolibri, Weißnackenkolibri ... Finnish: Mesikolibri ... Japanese: shiroerihachidori ... Dutch: Witnekkolibrie ... Norwegian: Hvitnakkekolibri ... Polish: Nektareczek b??kitna, nektareczek blekitny, nektareczek b??kitny
Russian: ???????-?????? ... Slovak: jakobín bielošijí , Kolibrík bielošijí ... Swedish: Halsbandsjakobin


Recognized Subspecies and Ranges

  • White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora - Linnaeus, 1758) - nominate species
    • Range: South Mexico to Panama and Colombia, South to West Ecuador, Southeast Peru and North Bolivia, and East to Venezuela, Trinidad, the Guianas and Amazonian Brazil.

    • Florisuga mellivora flabellifera (Gould, 1846)
      • Range: Limited to the island of Tobago in the southern Caribbean Sea
      • ID: Larger than the nominate species

Female White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora)Distribution / Range

This large and attractive White-necked Jacobin has a wide range, from southern Mexico south to Peru, Bolivia and south Brazil. It is also found on Tobago and in Trinidad, but breeding has not been proved on the latter island. It mainly occurs below 900m.

They are usually seen at a high perch or just above the canopy. They are less common at lower levels, except when feeding at hummingbird feeders.

White necked jacobin male



The male White-necked Jacobin averages 12 cm in length. He has a bright green upper plumage, a blue head and chest. He is easily identified by his white abdomen and mostly white tail. He also has a white band on the nape *back of the neck) and a dark blue hood.

Immature males have less white in the tail and a conspicuous rufous patch around the eyes.

Females may resemble adult or immature males. She is green above; her abdomen is white; her throat white-scaled green or blue. The feathers under her tail surrounding the vent are white-scaled dark blue. Her plumage varies greatly and identification can be confusing. However, her vent coloration is distinctive and not shared by similar species.

White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora) is also commonly known as Great Jacobin and Collared Hummingbird

Female White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora) Nesting / Breeding

Hummingbirds are solitary in all aspects of life other than breeding; and the male's only involvement in the reproductive process is the actual mating with the female. They neither live nor migrate in flocks; and there is no pair bond for this species. Males court females by flying in a u-shaped pattern in front of them. He will separate from the female immediately after copulation. One male may mate with several females. In all likelihood, the female will also mate with several males. The males do not participate in choosing the nest location, building the nest or raising the chicks.

The female White-necked Jacobin is responsible for building the cup-shaped nest out of plant fibers woven together and green moss on the outside for camouflage in a protected location in a shrub, bush or tree. She lines the nest with soft plant fibers, animal hair and feather down, and strengthens the structure with spider webbing and other sticky material, giving it an elastic quality to allow it to stretch to double its size as the chicks grow and need more room. The nest is typically found on a low, thin horizontal branch.

Male White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora) The average clutch consists of one white egg, which she incubates alone, while the male defends his territory and the flowers he feeds on. The young are born blind, immobile and without any down.

The female alone protects and feeds the chicks with regurgitated food (mostly partially-digested insects since nectar is an insufficient source of protein for the growing chicks). The female pushes the food down the chicks' throats with her long bill directly into their stomachs.

As is the case with other hummingbird species, the chicks are brooded only the first week or two, and left alone even on cooler nights after about 12 days - probably due to the small nest size. The chicks leave the nest when they are about 7 - 10 days old.


Diet / Feeding

The White-necked Jacobins primarily feed on nectar taken from a variety of brightly colored, scented small flowers of trees, herbs, shrubs and epiphytes. They favor flowers with the highest sugar content (often red-colored and tubular-shaped) and seek out, and aggressively protect, those areas containing flowers with high energy nectar.They use their long, extendible, straw-like tongues to retrieve the nectar while hovering with their tails cocked upward as they are licking at the nectar up to 13 times per second. Sometimes they may be seen hanging on the flower while feeding.

White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora)Many native and cultivated plants on whose flowers these birds feed heavily rely on them for pollination. The mostly tubular-shaped flowers actually exclude most bees and butterflies from feeding on them and, subsequently, from pollinating the plants.

They may also visit local hummingbird feeders for some sugar water, or drink out of bird baths or water fountains where they will either hover and sip water as it runs over the edge; or they will perch on the edge and drink - like all the other birds; however, they only remain still for a short moment.

They also take some small spiders and insects - important sources of protein particularly needed during the breeding season to ensure the proper development of their young. Insects are often caught in flight (hawking); snatched off leaves or branches, or are taken from spider webs. A nesting female can capture up to 2,000 insects a day.

Males establish feeding territories, where they aggressively chase away other males as well as large insects - such as bumblebees and hawk moths - that want to feed in their territory. They use aerial flights and intimidating displays to defend their territories.

Metabolism and Survival and Flight Adaptions - Amazing Facts


White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora)
White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora)

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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