Calliope Hummingbird

photo by Phil Swanson

Stellula calliope
L 3 1/4″ (8 cm).

Song or calls:
Series of “chip” notes. Displaying male, high “see-ree” note as he dives over female.

Description: Short tail and short bill. Male is metallic green above; white below; greenish flanks; gorget is white with purple-violet rays giving a distinctive whiskered effect. Female is green above; white below; dark streaks on throat; buffy flanks; and white tipped tail corners.  Juveniles resemble adult females.

calliope hummingbird
Habitat: Along streams in high meadows and canyons, montane and subalpine forest clearings, and brushy edges.

Where in Nebraska: Accidental. Seen in Lincoln County in 1960, and specimen obtained there in 1962.

Fun Facts: The Calliope Hummingbird is the smallest bird in North America, and the smallest long-distance migrant in the world.

Calliope Hummingbird - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)