White-eared Hummingbird Hylocharis leucotis

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Trochilidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Marîa del Coro Arizmendi, Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, Carlos A. Soberanes-González, and Thomas S. Schulenberg


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

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

Distribution in the Americas

White-eared Hummingbird occurs in forested montane regions from the extreme southwestern United States south to Nicaragua. White-eared Hummingbird is resident across most of its range, but the northernmost populations are migratory; it withdraws entirely from the United States in the winter, and most if not all individuals in the north central part of the range (e.g. Sonora, Chihuahua and Nuevo Leon) also withdraw in the winter (October-March) (Howell and Webb 1995, Russell and Monson 1998). In the southern populations, there are some (local?) altitudinal movements following breeding, although the extent of these movements is not well documented.

In the United States, White-eared Hummingbird is most regular in southeastern Arizona, where it first was detected in 1894 (Fisher 1894); however it was not documented at all in Arizona between 1933 and 1961 (Phillips et al. 1964). Currently it is an uncommon but regular summer resident, although breeding in Arizona was not detected until 1989, and the first occupied nest in Arizona was not discovered until 1996 (Williamson 2001, Corman and Wise-Gervais 2005). It also is reported from New Mexico (Hubbard 1978) and Texas (Lockwood and Freeman 2014), although it is much less frequent in both of these states. White-eared Hummingbird also is a very rare vagrant to Colorado, Michigan, Mississippi, and Alabama.

The elevational range of White-eared Hummingbird is 1200-3500 m (Howell and Webb 1995).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


White-eared Hummingbird pccurs in pine, pine-oak, and pine-evergreen forests and adjacent edges and clearings with flowers.

Historical changes

White-eared Hummingbird currently is considered to be an uncommon but regular visitor to southern Arizona, United States, where formerly it was regarded as very rare, or was not reported at all for periods of several decades. It is possible that its range is expanding northward, although there also are many more observers in this region as compared to the first half of the 20th century.

Fossil history

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Arizmendi, M. d. C., C. I. Rodríguez-Flores, C. A. Soberanes-González, and T. S. Schulenberg (2015). White-eared Hummingbird (Hylocharis leucotis), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.whehum.01