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Allen's Hummingbird Selasphorus sasin

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We do not have a complete account for this species.

The summary below is an overview from The Birds of North America Online.

BNA Account Authors: Mitchell, Donald E.

The high-pitched metallic buzzing of a male Allen's Hummingbird's wings in flight heralds the species' midwinter arrival in coastal California during "spring" migration from central Mexico. Much squabbling ensues as the fiercely territorial males fight to defend food sources and breeding territories in anticipation of the arrival of females, soon to follow. To defend its territory, the male has one of the most complex and spectacular dive displays of any North American hummingbird. As a prelude to his dive, the male swings back and forth in symmetrical, pendulous arcs, pausing at the top of each arc to shake his body and emit a loud buzz. He then rises up to 30 meters before entering his power dive, pulling out of the dive just above the object of his display while emitting a loud, metallic shriek. The object of the display may be an intruder in his territory or a female seeking a male.

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Male flight display song

© Thomas G Sander

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/allhum