Despite their tiny size, male Allen's Hummingbirds are very aggressive and territorial. The male attracts a female using a complex aerial show which includes vocalizations.
Due to their high metabolism, they must eat constantly, feasting on nectar and insects, giving them energy for flapping their wings at incredible speeds.
Appearance of the Allen's Hummingbird
Adult male Allen's Hummingbirds look very similar to the Rufous Hummingbird — with the exception of the Allen’s green back and crown.
The Allen’s hummingbird has a copper-red throat patch known as a gorget (named after the protective metallic neck gears worn by warriors, pre-18th century). Their red tail feathers are tipped in black, and their wings emit a metallic whine when in flight.
Adult females and juvenile Allen’s hummingbirds are hard to distinguish from Rufous hummingbirds. Typically they have iridescent green backs with dull red bellies and a white throat. Female Allen's hummingbirds often sport a red central throat patch or a smaller gorget than that of the adult male Allen's hummingbird.
Geography of the Allen's Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbirds breed in a small strip of land along the Pacific Coast, starting in southwest Oregon and continuing into southern California.
This is one of the smallest breeding ranges of all hummingbird species.
The Allen’s Hummingbird migrates to central Mexico during cooler months and has been spotted in the Channel Islands off the southern California coast.
As a result of this limited range, the Allen's hummingbird is susceptible to the effects of natural disasters, disease and habitat destruction.
Local Environments of the Allen's Hummingbird
The male Allen's hummingbird prefers coastal scrub or riparian areas where he sits on branches looking over his territory.
The female Allen's hummingbird, however, prefers the thicker forested areas for building her nest and raising her babies.
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