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Lucifer Hummingbird - BirdForum Opus

Female. Photo by Larry D Smith
Bisbee, Arizona, USA

Alternative Name(s): Lucifer Sheartail

Calothorax lucifer


3.25 inches with long, thin, decurved bill and green upperparts. Male has white spot behind eye, purple throat, grey underparts with green and rusty sides, and black, deeply forked tail. Female has pale throat, buff breast, pale belly, green tail where outer feathers have rusty base, black middle, and white tip.

Similar Species

This species likely overlaps with range of Beautiful Hummingbird in winter and is very difficult to separate from it when within range.

Male. Photo by zerb21
Miller Canyon, Arizona


USA and Mexico: in the USA only found during breeding season, probably most frequent in S Arizona but also found in S New Mexico and S Texas. In Mexico reaches down at least Mexico City as a breeder, and south to Veracruz and Oaxaca in winter.


This is a monotypic species1.


Arid scrub, likes to have blooming agave plants during breeding.


Especially in spring and fall comes to feeders in S USA.

Male has a display that includes pendulum flight.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Howell & Webb, 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198540124

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