Costa's Hummingbird (Calypte costae)

Costa's Hummingbird
Costa's Hummingbird, male - CSU San Bernardino
© Tom Benson
Costa's Hummingbird
Costa's Hummingbird, female - CSU San Bernardino
© Tom Benson

The Costa's Hummingbird is a common year-round, breeding resident on campus. This is in contrast to its general status and distribution in southern California where it is a common to uncommon spring and summer visitor and rare to uncommon winter visitor in the desert and in cismontane (west of the mountains) coastal sage scrub communities. The best locations on campus to see this bird are in the CSUSB Preserve and along Coyote Drive.

High Count: 8, Average Count: 2-4

The adult male Costa's Hummingbird can be identified by its deep purple gorget (iridescent feathers on its head). Keep in mind, however, that this purple color comes from the reflection of sunlight, so it can appear blackish from different angles. Female Costa's Hummingbirds are similar in size and shape to males, but lack the purple gorget. Females can be distinguished from female Anna's Hummingbird by relatively whiter underparts (throat, breast, and belly), and when perched the wingtips extend beyond the tail. Immature males look like females but often have iridescent purple feathers scattered about the throat and/or head.


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