Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Trochilidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Christopher J. Clark


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Vervain Hummingbird
eBird range map for Vervain Hummingbird

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

The Vervain Hummingbird is endemic to all parts of Jamaica and Hispanola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), including outlying islands such as Gonâve, Tortue, Saona, Catalina islands, and Île-à-Vache (Anonymous 1998; Bond 1928). It does not migrate latitudinally, although seasonal elevational movements appear likely, probably in response to food availability, and especially at high elevations. It is found at all elevations, including up to at least 1600 m in winter in Haiti (Keith et al. 2003). It has been reported as a vagrant in Puerto Rico (Anonymous 1998).

Distribution outside the Americas

The Vervain Hummingbird has not been reported outside of the Americas.


The Vervain is present in most habitats on its native islands, including gardens, gallery forest, sclerophyll forest (Lack 1976), desert shrub-scrub (C. Rimmer pers. comm.), dry forest (Latta et al. 2003), and even singing among tall buildings in urban environments (C. Levy pers. comm.). The only habitat in which it is not present is dense montane forest.

Historical changes

No historical range or habitat changes are reported.  It is possible that human-induced habitat change has increased its range, through the replacement of dense montane forest with cultivation.

Fossil history

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Clark, C. J. (2009). Vervain Hummingbird (Mellisuga minima), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.