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Emerald-chinned Hummingbird

From Opus

FemalePhoto by Tom JennerCerro Verde, El Salvador
Photo by Tom Jenner
Cerro Verde, El Salvador
Abeillia abeillei


[edit] Identification

This is a tiny hummingbird with a short, straight, dark bill.

Both sexes are green above and have a white post-ocular spot.

The male has mostly grey underparts, with green on the flanks. It has an emerald green throat and black bib, both of which are usually only visible in good light.

The female has white underparts with some green on the flanks. The post-ocular spot extends downwards to form a pale line behind the eye.

Note that the plate in Howell and webb (1995) gives a slightly misleading impression of the shape of this species; showing a short-tailed dumpy bird, when this is not generally the appearance in the field.

[edit] Distribution

This species has a very small world distribution limited to the highlands of the southern portion of Mexico (mainly Oaxaca and Chiapas) through southern Guatemala, much of Honduras, western Nicaragua and scattered locations in El Salvador. Throughout this range it is generally very locally distributed and rarely reported, though the lack of records may be in part due to its preference for thick dark forest.

[edit] Taxonomy

The Emerald-chinned Hummingbird is the only member of the genus Abeillia.

[edit] Subspecies

There are two subspecies[1]:

  • A. a. abeillei:
  • A. a. aurea:
  • Mountains of southern Honduras and northern Nicaragua

[edit] Habitat

Tends to be found in lower elevation cloud forest and evergreen forest, though can also be found in pine-evergreen forest. Sometimes occurs in edge habitat, but more frequently enountered inside the forest. Howell and Webb (1995) gives the altitude range as 1000-2200m.

[edit] Behaviour

The behaviour of this species is almost completely unknown. Howell and Webb (1995) gives the nesting season as February and March. Birds seen leking in southern Guatemala between October and January, at least. Small groups of males sit in leks 10 to 15m from each other on fairly low twigs in dense vegetation making high pitched whispered whistles.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at

[edit] External Links

A page on this species with a number of photos can be found on


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