Jul 30 2015
If you want to see a really magnificent hummingbird in the U.S. the only place to find one is in the mountains of southeastern Arizona.
Magnificent isn’t just an adjective, it’s part of his name: The Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens).
Arizona is the northern edge of his range which extends south to Panama. According to Wikipedia you can find him “at the edges and clearings of oak forests from about 2000 m altitude [6,500 feet] up to the timberline.” He’s listed as common at the Southwest Wings Festival.
Common, but not a common size. He’s the second largest hummingbird north of Mexico and can be twice as big as a ruby-throated hummingbird.
And he’s uncommonly dark. Though he has a tiny white patch behind his eye, both males and females look black until the light shines on their iridescent feathers.
When you see one of these hummingbirds, you hope for a splash of sunshine.
The photo above is one of those magnificent moments when a black bird flashes color and takes your breath away.
(photo from Wikimedia Commons. Click on the image to see the original)
p.s. I saw this Life Bird yesterday at Santa Rita Lodge in Madera Canyon. His throat flashed bright green, much greener than this photo.