Costa's Hummingbird
Similar Birds:
 Anna's Hummingbird

Costa's Hummingbird
Photographer: Alan D Wilson of

Costa's Hummingbird
Photographer: Alan D Wilson of

Costa's Hummingbird Range Map (SW USA & Mexico)
Costa's Hummingbird Range Map (SW USA & Mexico)
Latin Name Calypte Costae
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location S W USA & Mexico
Colour Green, Black, & Violet
Length Up to 9 cm (3.5 inches)
Wingspan Approx. 11 cm (4.3 inches)
Weight 2 - 3 g (0.07 - 0.11 oz)
Life Expectancy -

Main Characteristics

Costa's Hummingbirds are small hummingbirds that measure up to 9 cms (3.5 inches) in length, they have a wingspan of approximately 11 cm (4.3 inches) and they weigh between 2 and 3 g (0.07 - 0.11 oz).

Males have green upperparts and flanks with a pale coloured patch below their throat. Their face is black and they have a violet crown and throat patch. Females have greenish/grey upperparts, a white throat and underside, and a green crown. Juveniles are similar in colour to adult females.

When night time temperatures are low Costa's Hummingbirds can enter a torpid state where their body temperature reduces and their heart rate slows down to 50 beats per minute. The normal heart rate of a resting Costa's Hummingbird is 500 - 900 beats per minute.

They have distinctive, high-pitched calls and females vocalize frequently whereas males are usually quiet except when they are alarmed or during the breeding season.


Costa's Hummingbirds are found in the deserts, semi-deserts, open meadows and gardens of south western USA and Mexico.

They are mainly solitary and will migrate if resources are scarce or the temperatures become intolerable.


Costa's Hummingbirds feed on nectar from flowers such as desert honeysuckle, barestem larkspur, desert lavender flowers and saguaro flowers. They also feed on tiny insects that they catch while in the air or glean from plants.


Costa's Hummingbirds breed between January and May but they do not form pairs, the only interaction between males and females is the actual mating. Males produce courtship displays to attract females and these involve swoops, arcing dives and high pitched whistling.

The female constructs a small cup shape nest approximately 1 - 2 m (3.3 - 6.6 ft) above the ground. Within 2 days of the nest being completed the female will lay the first of 2 white eggs, the second one being laid 2 days after the first.

After an incubation period of 15 - 18 days the chicks will hatch and they will be fed regurgitated food by their mother. The chicks are ready to leave the nest after 20 - 23 days but their mother will continue to feed them until they can fully fend for themselves.

Costa's Hummingbirds reach sexual maturity within 1 year and are ready to breed the following season.


Predators of Costa's Hummingbirds include snakes and other birds.


There are no subspecies of Costa's Hummingbird.

Interesting Facts

Costa's hummingbirds are named after the French nobleman Louis Marie Pantaleon Costa.

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