Archilochus alexandri - (Bourcier and Mulsant, 1846)
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Archilochus alexandri (Bourcier & Mulsant, 1846) (TSN 178033)
French Common Names: Colibri à gorge noire
Spanish Common Names: Colibrí Barba Negra
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104387
Element Code: ABNUC45020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
Image 11468

© Larry Master

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Apodiformes Trochilidae Archilochus
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Archilochus alexandri
Taxonomic Comments: Archilochus alexandri and A. colubris (ruby-throated hummingbird) appear to constitute a superspecies (AOU 1998).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 06Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 02Dec1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Large range in western North America; species occurs in wide range of natural and highly altered habitats; large population size; population likely stable or increasing; no known major threats.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B (19Mar1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4B,NUM (25Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNRN), Arizona (S5), California (SNR), Colorado (S4B), Idaho (S5B), Louisiana (S2N), Mississippi (SNA), Montana (S4B), Navajo Nation (S5B), Nevada (S4B), New Mexico (S4B,S4N), North Carolina (SNA), Oklahoma (S1B), Oregon (S4B), Texas (S5B), Utah (S4S5B), Washington (S4B), Wyoming (S1B)
Canada British Columbia (S4B)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix II

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Breeding range extends from south-central British Columbia, Washington, central Idaho, and northwestern Montana southward to northern Baja California, northern Sonora, northern Chihuahua, northern Coahuila (probably), and southern Texas, and east to southwestern Wyoming, southeastern Colorado, southwestern Oklahoma, and central Texas (to Dallas, Navarro, and Hidalgo counties) (AOU 1998). In winter, this species occurs primarily along the Pacific slope from southern Sonora (casually southern California) south to Michoacán and Morelos, and also small numbers in southeastern Texas east along the Gulf coast to northwestern Florida; casually also in Georgia and South Carolina (AOU 1998). Migrating birds occur throughout much of northern Mexico south of the breeding range from eastern Baja California and Sonora to western Tamaulipas, south to the limit of the winter range (AOU 1998). Elevational range extends from below sea level to above 2,500 meters (Baltosser and Russell (2000).

Number of Occurrences:  
Number of Occurrences Comments: The number of distinct occurrences or subpopulations has not been determined using standardized criteria, but this species is represented by a large number of observation/collection sites (e.g., see GBIF database, eBird) and locations (as defined by IUCN).

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total population size is unknown but very large. This species is common in a wide range of natural and altered habitats. For example, Rosenberg et al. (1987) recorded a density of 33 individuals/40 ha at an urban site in Tempe, Arizona; this was similar to the density in cottonwood-willow and mesquite habitats 20 km northeast of Tempe. Along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, estimated nesting densities were 1?3.5 nests/ha (40?140 nests/40 ha) (Brown 1992).

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: No major threats are known.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain, but distribution and abundance probably have been relatively stable or slowly increasing (e.g., see Breeding Bird Survey data).

Long-term Trend: Relatively Stable to increase of <25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Long-term trend is uncertain, but distribution and abundance may have increased to some degree, in part as a result of habitat changes (e.g., increased nesting and food resources resulting from the establishment of exotic vegetation associated with urbanization or effects of dams) (Brown 1992, Baltosser and Russell 2000). Breeding Bird Survey data (though of questionable validity for hummingbirds) indicate a relatively stable or slowly increasing trend since the late 1960s.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) Breeding range extends from south-central British Columbia, Washington, central Idaho, and northwestern Montana southward to northern Baja California, northern Sonora, northern Chihuahua, northern Coahuila (probably), and southern Texas, and east to southwestern Wyoming, southeastern Colorado, southwestern Oklahoma, and central Texas (to Dallas, Navarro, and Hidalgo counties) (AOU 1998). In winter, this species occurs primarily along the Pacific slope from southern Sonora (casually southern California) south to Michoacán and Morelos, and also small numbers in southeastern Texas east along the Gulf coast to northwestern Florida; casually also in Georgia and South Carolina (AOU 1998). Migrating birds occur throughout much of northern Mexico south of the breeding range from eastern Baja California and Sonora to western Tamaulipas, south to the limit of the winter range (AOU 1998). Elevational range extends from below sea level to above 2,500 meters (Baltosser and Russell (2000).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AZ, CA, CO, ID, LA, MS, MT, NC, NM, NN, NV, OK, OR, TX, UT, WA, WY
Canada BC

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
OR Grant (41023)*, Harney (41025)*, Jackson (41029)*, Lake (41037)*
WY Carbon (56007), Crook (56011), Fremont (56013), Johnson (56019), Lincoln (56023), Natrona (56025), Sheridan (56033), Sublette (56035), Sweetwater (56037), Teton (56039), Uinta (56041), Washakie (56043)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
10 Upper Wind (10080001)+, Lower Wind (10080005)+, Nowood (10080008)+*, Little Bighorn (10080016)+, Upper Tongue (10090101)+, Clear (10090206)+, Upper Belle Fourche (10120201)+, Redwater (10120203)+, Middle North Platte-Casper (10180007)+
14 Upper Green (14040101)+, Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir (14040106)+, Blacks Fork (14040107)+, Little Snake (14050003)+, Muddy (14050004)+
16 Central Bear (16010102)+
17 Snake headwaters (17040101)+, Gros Ventre (17040102)+, Greys-Hobock (17040103)+, Salt (17040105)+, Teton (17040204)+, Upper John Day (17070201)+*, Upper Rogue (17100307)+*, Harney-Malheur Lakes (17120001)+*, Donner Und Blitzen (17120003)+*, Warner Lakes (17120007)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A hummingbird.
General Description: This is a small, slender hummingbird with a straight, black bill. Adult males have a dull metallic bronze-green back and a black chin and upper throat with a metallic violet iridescence on the lower throat. The males central pair of tail feathers are green whereas the others are black (often with a purplish sheen). Adult females have a dull metallic bronze-green back, and their chin, upper throat, and sides of throat are creamy and often streaked or spotted with dusky. Females breast and most of belly are dull white. Females tail is greenish or blackish, with the 3 outer pairs of feathers broadly tipped with white. Young birds resemble adult females but have buffy emarginations at the tips of the head and body feathers (these disappear through wear). Length is about 3.75 inches (7.5-9 cm).
Reproduction Comments: Nesting begins as early as late March or early April and may extend through August. Clutch size is usually 2. Incubation, by the female lasts 13-16 days. Young are tended by the female, leave the nest in about 3 weeks, and are fed by the female for several days after fledging. Females may begin a second nesting before the young of the first nesting are fully independent (Johnsgard 1983).
Ecology Comments: Primarily solitary except for females and young during the nesting season.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Breeding populations in most of the United States move south into Mexico for winter. They depart California, Oregon, and Washington generally in September-October, and most are gone from Texas by mid-October. The species arrives in Texas and Arizona generally beginning in late February-March, and it reaches northern breeding areas by mid-May.

Banding studies in southern Arizona indicate that many individuals follow the same migration path in successive years.

Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Desert, Shrubland/chaparral, Suburban/orchard, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: This species occurs in a wide range of habitats, from dry deserts to lush urban areas (Baltosser and Russell 2000): open woodland, scrub, desert washes, riparian woodland, chaparral, parks, and gardens, most frequently in arid regions (AOU 1998). Nests are in trees or shrubs (e.g., alder, cottonwood, oak, sycamore, laurel, willow, apple, orange), often along canyons or streams or over small or dry creek beds. Average height of the nest above ground is less than 10 feet (3 meters).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore, Nectarivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore, Nectarivore
Food Comments: These hummingbirds visit flowers and feed on nectar and insects. They also forage by darting out from a perch to catch insects in the air. They often visit various bat-pollinated plants (e.g., Agave) that exhibit diurnal nectar production (Kuban et al. 1983).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 10 centimeters
Weight: 4 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: No species-specific management is needed. This species thrives in various natural and altered habitats, including urban/suburban areas with exotic plants that provide nest sites and nectar. Black-chinned hummingbirds may benefit from protection/restoration of riparian zones in arid regions, though removal of tamarisk (salt-cedar) may be detrimental if alternative potential nest sites in other woody vegetation are not available (e.g., see Brown 1992). Efforts to avert wildfire by reducing the density of flammable vegetation may affect this species. For example, in New Mexico, fuel reduction along riparian zones reduced nest-site availability and lowered nest survival by removing potential nest sites in the forest understory, forcing hummingbirds to nest at greater heights where predation risk was higher (Smith et al. 2009).
Biological Research Needs: Baltosser and Russell (2000) stated that "studies are in progress to determine the status of populations of small individuals in s. Texas and Mexico, including clarification of the taxonomic relationship of these birds to summering populations of larger individuals throughout the western United States." These authors further noted that an assessment of the availability and status of wintering habitats is needed.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Hummingbirds

Use Class: Breeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: High potential for gene flow among populations of birds makes it difficult to circumscribe occurrences on the basis of meaningful population units without occurrences becoming too large. Hence, a moderate, standardized separation distance has been adopted for hummingbirds; it should yield occurrences that are not too spatially expansive while also accounting for the likelihood of gene flow among populations within a few kilometers of each other.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .1 km
Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of wintering individuals (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat (or fewer individuals for G1-G3 species). Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; a compromise between the often small home ranges of these birds, their great mobility, and the need for occurrences of reasonable size.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .1 km
Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 28Apr2015
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 28Apr2015
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Alabama Ornithological Society. 2006. Field checklist of Alabama birds. Alabama Ornithological Society, Dauphin Island, Alabama. [Available online at http://www.aosbirds.org/documents/AOSChecklist_april2006.pdf ]

  • Allen, C. R., S. Demarais, and R. S. Lutz. 1994. Red imported fire ant impact on wildlife: an overview. The Texas Journal of Science 46(1):51-59.

  • American Ornithologists Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American Birds. 7th edition. American Ornithologists Union, Washington, D.C. 829 pages.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.

  • Andrews, R. R. and R. R. Righter. 1992. Colorado Birds. Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver. 442 pp.

  • Baltosser, W. H.,  and S. M. Russell. 2000. Black-chinned hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri). The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/495. doi:10.2173/bna.495

  • Baltosser, William H. and Stephen M. Russell. 2000. Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online:
    doi:10.2173/bna.495

  • BirdLife International. 2004b. Threatened birds of the world 2004. CD ROM. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.

  • Bleiweiss, R., J. A. W. Kirsch, and J. C. Matheus. 1994. DNA-DNA hybridization evidence for subfamily structure among hummingbirds. Auk 111:8-19.

  • Brown, B. T. 1992. Nesting chronology, density and habitat use of black-chinned hummingbirds along the Colorado River, Arizona. Journal of Field Ornithology 63:393-400.

  • Bureau of Land Management. Life History Summaries.

  • Campbell, R.W., N.K. Dawe, I. McTaggart-Cowan, J.M. Cooper, G.W. Kaiser, and M.C.E. McNall. 1990. The Birds of British Columbia Vol. 2: Nonpasserines: Diurnal Birds of Prey through Woodpeckers. Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, BC.

  • Cannings, R.A., R.J. Cannings, and S.G. Cannings. 1987. Birds of the Okanagan Valley, B.C. Royal B.C. Mus., Victoria, B.C. 420pp.

  • Dorn, Jane L. and R.D. Dorn. 1990. Wyoming Birds. Mountain West Publishing, Cheyenne.

  • Godfrey, W. E. 1986. The birds of Canada. Revised edition. National Museum of Natural Sciences, Ottawa. 596 pp. + plates.

  • Harrison, C. 1978. A Field Guide to the Nests, Eggs and Nestlings of North American Birds. Collins, Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Howell, S. N. G., and S. Webb. 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

  • Imhof, T. A. 1976. Alabama birds. Second edition. Univ. Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa. 445 pp.

  • Johnsgard, P. A. 1983c. Hummingbirds of North America. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 304 pp.

  • Kuban, J. F., J. Lawley, and R. L. Neill. 1983. The partitioning of flowering century plants by black-chinned and Lucifer hummingbirds. Southwestern Naturalist 28:143-148.

  • LaRue, C.T. 1994. Birds of northern Black Mesa, Navajo County, Arizona. Great Basin Naturalist 54(1):1-63.

  • Lowery, George H. 1974. The Birds of Louisiana. LSU Press. 651pp.

  • Mirarchi, R.E., editor. 2004. Alabama Wildlife. Volume 1. A checklist of vertebrates and selected invertebrates: aquatic mollusks, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 209 pages.

  • Montgomerie, R. D. 1979. Energetics of foraging and competition in some tropcial hummingbirds. Ph.D. dissertation, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.

  • National Geographic Society (NGS). 1983. Field guide to the birds of North America. National Geographic Society, Washington, DC.

  • Oberholser, H.C. 1974. The bird life of Texas. 2 vols. Univ. of Texas Press, Austin.

  • Parker III, T. A., D. F. Stotz, and J. W. Fitzpatrick. 1996. Ecological and distributional databases for neotropical birds. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

  • Reeves, T. and A. Nelson. 1996. Birds of Morgan Lake: a guide to common species. Arizona Public Service, Four Corners Power Plant. 25 p.

  • Rosenberg, K. V., S. B. Terrill, and G. H. Rosenberg. 1987. Value of suburban habitats to desert riparian birds. Wilson Bulletin 99:642-654.

  • See SERO listing

  • Sibley, D. A. 2000a. The Sibley guide to birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

  • Smith, D. M., D. M. Finch, and D. L. Hawksworth. 2009. Black-chinned hummingbird nest-site selection and nest survival in response to fuel reduction in a southwestern riparian forest. Condor 111:641-652.

  • Terres, J. K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

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