Flight is the only means of locomotion for Rivoli's Hummingbird. Hovering flight is used for nectar foraging and forward flight is used for transportation and aggressive encounters. A combination of hovering and forward flight is used to capture arthropods. Uses feet to scratch and bill to groom feathers. Bill is cleaned by rubbing on branches.
Little quantitative information. Measured values for wing disc loading (0.038 to 0.055 g/cm2) are similar to those exhibited by strongly territorial species. However, male territoriality varies from highly territorial in some areas to non-territorial in others (Powers 2013).
Territorial behavior observed in Oaxaca, Mexico, where males are co-dominant with Blue-throated Hummingbird (Lampornis clemenciae) (Lyon 1976). Males are most territorial during peak Penstemon bloom and will hold territories for 12 weeks averaging 722.6 ± 265.4 m2 where flowers are densely packed. Near Mexico City and Distrito Federal, males actively defend flowers of Agave salmiana (Martinez del Rio and Eguiarte 1987). In Volcán de Colima, Mexico, and in southeastern Arizona, Magnificent Hummingbird not known to be territorial (Powers 2013).
There is very little information on sexual behavior in Rivoli's Hummingbird; it presumably is polygynous, as are most if not all species of hummingbirds (Schuchmann 1999: 509).
Social and interspecific behavior
Like most species of hummingbird, Rivoli's Hummingbirds typically are solitary. It is dominant over Amethyst-throated (Lampornis amethystinus), Berylline (Amazilia beryllina), Bumblebee (Atthis heloisa), and Allen's (Selasphorus sasin) hummingbirds (Powers 2013).
Predators of adult hummingbirds include raptors (especially Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis, Tiny Hawk Accipiter superciliosus, and Merlin Falco columbarius), icterids, and large tyrannids (Miller and Gass 1985). There are no reported observations, however, of predation on Rivoli's Hummingbird.