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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

White-Eared Hummingbird: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

White-eared hummingbirds facts, scientifically known as Hylocharis leucotis.

Have you ever seen a tiny bird with a remarkable white ear stripe hovering over flowers and sucking nectar from them? If yes, then they are probably white-eared hummingbirds of the hummingbirds species that belong to the family of Trochilidae with the scientific name, Basilinna leucotis. They are called Zafiro Reja Blanca, which refers to the unique white stripe behind the eye in Spanish. They have a wide habitat range, including in Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and the United States. Migratory birds of this species reach their breeding locations in March or April and set back to their winter range in Mexico by October. Non-migratory birds exist in central Sonora, a state in northwest Mexico, south to southern Central America.

Cultivated or wild plants depend on these birds, as they are excellent pollinators. They transfer pollen grains between flowers as they visit a large number of flowers every day for nectar. Hence they have a positive impact on human life.

You can explore more about these small hummingbirds as you go through our article. To know exciting facts about birds of prey, check out these common nighthawk facts and eagle facts.

White-Eared Hummingbird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a white-eared hummingbird?

A white-eared hummingbird (Hylocharis leucotis) is a tiny hummingbird of the family Trochilidae.

What class of animal does a white-eared hummingbird belong to?

A white-eared hummingbird (Hylocharis leucotis) belongs to the class of Aves.

How many white-eared hummingbirds are there in the world?

There are nearly 360 species of hummingbirds globally. The white-eared hummingbird is common and widespread throughout Central America. The exact global population of this bird species is unknown.

Where does a white-eared hummingbird live?

This hummingbird lives in mountain or pine-oak forests. In Central America and Mexico, they live at the edges of coniferous forests at higher mountains.

What is a white-eared hummingbird's habitat?

The habitat of the breeding range of white-eared hummingbirds is mostly pine forests from southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and western Texas along the Sierra Madre Occidental and between Cordillera Neovolcanica of southern Mexico and southern Nicaragua. This bird species rarely and less regularly visits southwestern New Mexico and western Texas in the United States. They are  summer visitors to the Mandrean sky islands of southeastern Arizona.

Who do white-eared hummingbirds live with?

A white-eared hummingbird prefers to live a solitary life. They neither live in groups nor migrate in flocks. However, during the breeding season, males form groups of five to seven birds and chatter to the female. The female and males come together only during the breeding season. The male only involves in mating and never forms a bond pair.

How long does a white-eared hummingbird live?

They live nearly three to five years, depending on their endurance in the wild. The maximum lifespan in other birds of the hummingbird species is 12 years.

How do they reproduce?

They reproduce by laying eggs, and breeding occurs in late March or April. Like any other male bird species, the adult male bird also displays courtship to invite females for mating. However, male's only involvement in reproduction is mating with females, and they do not worry about building a nest for themselves and caring for the young. Female is solely responsible for hatching the eggs, feeding and protecting the young. They brood twice a year.

The female uses plant fiber to build the nest and covers outside the nest with green moss as a trick to protect the young by camouflaging the nest in the bush or tree in its habitat. The female bird uses animal hair, spider web, feathers, and other sticky material as well to improve the elasticity of the nest, allowing it to stretch to provide more room as the chicks grow. The nest location usually will be on low, horizontal branches at an altitude of 5-20 ft (1.5-6.1 m) above the ground.

The female bird lays an average of two white eggs. The incubation period lasts for 14-16 days, after which tiny, blind and immobile young birds hatch out of them. The female feeds the chicks with nectar and partially digested insects, rich sources of protein. Then, the female uses her long bill to push food down the chick's throat directly into her stomach. Chicks take their first flight around 22-26 days after hatching.

What is their conservation status?

As per IUCN red list, the conservation status of this bird species is of the Least Concern. This is because the population of these birds is stable, and they are common over their range. However, they are affected by loss of habitat due to the clearing of forests on mountains.

White-Eared Hummingbird Fun Facts

What do white-eared hummingbirds look like?

These tiny birds of North America are sexually dimorphic concerning their color. Males are more colorful than females. Adult males have upperparts and breasts in green and under-tail coverts in white. Their tail is straight and is bronze-green. They have a short red bill that is slightly curved with a black tip. Their crown and face are violet and black, and their throat is turquoise green. The main feature that earned their name, common in males and females, is a white ear stripe behind the eye.

Females have pale-colored throats with turquoise green-colored speckles. They have a deep green-colored back and crown. Their tail feathers are similar to males, but lateral tail feathers are greyish. They have a black bill with the base in red-orange. Young birds are similar to females concerning size and color. However, the young male has a green patch on the throat, and the bill is redder, and the young female has a darker bill and pale feathers.

White-eared hummingbirds are native to the southern part of North America.

How cute are they?

They are very cute-looking birds with vibrant, glossy colors and characteristic eye stripe. They are more adorable due to their miniature size. Other hummingbirds species are also charming and bright with fascinating colors. You can have a closer look at these cute birds if you hang a sugar-water feeder on your premises.

How do they communicate?

They communicate with one another by vocalization. They also sing-song that sounds like metallic chitink-chitink-chitink. They make calls that are repetitive dry chirps and gurgles. Males communicate by displaying aerial courtship to invite females for mating.

How big is a white-eared hummingbird?

A white-eared hummingbird is 3.5 to 3.9 in (9-10 cm) long and has a 4-5 in (10.2-12.7 cm) wingspan. They are tiny birds but are medium-sized compared to other birds of the same species. They are two times longer than a bee hummingbird.

How fast can a white-eared hummingbird fly?

They can fly very fast and attain a speed of nearly 20-30 mph (32.2-48.3 kph). They fly faster in 'u' shaped patterns with rapid wing beats, especially during the courtship display.

How much does a white-eared hummingbird weigh?

It is a very light-weighted bird of just 0.1o-0.14 oz (3-4 gm).

What are the male and female names of the species?

This hummingbird species have no particular name for the male and female birds. But, did you know that a group of humming birds is called a charm?

What would you call a baby white-eared hummingbird?

A baby of the white-eared hummingbird species does not have a particular name but, in general, is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The primary source of food for these birds is nectar from flowers. These birds have long stretchable tongues to suck nectar from flowers. Flowers that these birds frequently visit are S. lodanta, Agave salmiana, Crisium aliscoana, Lobelia laxiflora, and Salvia lavenduloides. They also eat invertebrates and other small insects. In city locations, they drink sugar water mixture from feeders.

Are they poisonous?

Hummingbirds are not poisonous. They are not dangerous but are territorial and defend very aggressively their territories and flowers they feed on, especially against small bird species.

Would they make a good pet?

It is not good to pet a hummingbird as they are great fliers and love to be free. They forage and eat nearly 200-300 fruit flies from the wild every day, and sugar water or nectar is not sufficient to feed them. It may be fun to watch them in our cages, but they cannot survive well in captivity enclosures. However, you can still enjoy watching them by hanging a feeder with sugar water in your balcony or backyards under shade. They visit to sip your sugar water and entertain you with their hovering movements. You can also have some flowering trails in your backyard and cherish the adorable little guest's presence and chirps.

Did you know...

Did you know that hummingbirds got their name from the humming sound produced when they flap their wings? Of all birds, hummingbirds lay the smallest eggs. A hummingbird's heart rate is 1200 beats per minute, whereas a human's heart rate is 60-100 beats.

Are they predators?

Predator is nothing but an animal that feeds on other animals. So, these tiny birds that feed on small insects like spiders, ants, termites can be considered a little predator.

How high can they fly?

They do not fly very high and forage for food in their nesting range at low and mid-level points. That is between 5-20 ft (1.5-6 m) above the ground level.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these senegal parrot facts and fox sparrow facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable white-eared hummingbird coloring pages.

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