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Black-chinned Hummingbird(Archilochus alexandri)

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Name Derivation:

drawing of hummingbirdArchilochus: Greek derivation meaning "chief brigand" (from archos for "chief", lochos for "ambush, or a company of men") perhaps because, as a thief takes something, it takes pollen from flowers.
alexandri: for a Dr. Alexandre, a medical doctor in Mexico during the 1840s who sent bird specimens to France. No more seems to be known of this man.
Black-chinned: describing the color of the male's gorget
Hummingbird: referring to the buzzing/humming-like sound the birds make when flying

Other names:

Alexander Hummingbird, Sponge Hummer; Spanish terciopelo barbanegro, chupaflor barbinegro

Systematics:

Class: Aves; Order: Apodiformes; family: Trochilidae.

Key Identification Characters:

Adult male with black chin bordered below by iridescent purple gorget; white collar below gorget; female with green upper parts, whitish throat; rounded tail with white-tipped feathers (female not distinguishable in field from female Ruby-throated Hummingbird which is occasionally seen in areas occupied by Black-chinned Hummingbirds). Length, 3.75"; wingspan, 4.75".

Distribution:

Western North America southward to western Mexico.
El Paso Region: common summer nester, occasionally seen through winter.

Food:

Flower nectar and insects.

Breeding:

Number of eggs/clutch: 2; egg: white; 0.50" x 0.35"; nesting: generally within 10' of ground on fork of tree limb; nest made of plant fibers and spider webs.

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Drawing:  1999 by Zackery Zdinak.

Contributor: Scott M. Cutler, Curator of Collections and Exhibits; Curator of Ornithology