Distribution: – The northernmost representative of the woodstar–sheartail group, the striking Lucifer Hummingbird (Calothorax lucifer) is found in the desert and arid interiors with agave plants habitats from central Mexico to the southwestern United States. This green hummingbird is also known as lucifer sheartail and has a distinctive outward patch of colorful feathers.
Identification: – Both sexes have long, curved bills that are not obviously adapted to any feeding specialization. The male hummingbird has tiny wings, iridescent plumage, long magenta gorget, and white streak behind its eye, forked dark tail, white underparts, green crown, long magenta gorget. However, the female hummingbird has a pale throat, underside white buff feathers, and larger with duller plumage.
the female hummingbird has a pale throat, underside white buff feathers, and larger with duller plumage.
The female hummingbird has a pale throat, underside white buff feathers, and larger with duller plumage. Photo Credit – Caleb Putnam
Feed: – They pollinate a variety of desert plants, colorful desert flowers, including desert honeysuckles (Anisacanthus), coral beans (Erythrina), paintbrushes (Castilleja), and Mexican Buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa), but also steal nectar from large bat-pollinated agaves (Agave) without coming into contact with the plants’ anthers or pistil. The diet also consists of small insects catching in flight and spiders.
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Breeding & Nest: The nest-building duty performs by females on cacti on steep, rocky slopes, desert shrubs, normally 3 to 10 feet above the ground. Males do not hold breeding territories, but instead, they seek out and court females with a spectacular zigzagging dive display at the nests that the females have constructed.
The clutch contains two small white eggs in the cup-shaped nest, 1 or 2 broods per season. The incubation period is about 14 to 15 days, and the baby leaves the nest in 21 to 24 days, after hatching, and is mainly fed by females near the nest about 12 to 17 days afterward.
These seasonal movements need more investigation and are not well understood, but involve both north-south and elevation migration. In the non-breeding season, Lucifer Hummingbird overlaps in range with its sister species, the nearly identical Beautiful Hummingbird.
Habitat: – The Lucifer hummingbird’s preferred habitat is arroyos, thorn scrub, dry oak and pine-oak woodland in rocky canyons, cacti, desert shrub, tropical deciduous forest in non-breeding season tends to at high altitudes of 3,950–7,400 ft (1,200–2,250 m).
Size Length: – The Lucifer Hummingbird average size is 31⁄2–37⁄8 in (9–10 cm).
Weight: – The average weight is just 3 to 4 g
Song/Call/ Sounds: – Male has unique habitats during the courtship display near feeding areas, lasts 35 to 50 seconds, repeated many times, attracting females by hovering high above, or distinct sites for group displays, then dive and a sound created with wings or tail and flying away with the tail feather forked, creating diverse series of snapping sounds.
Life Span: – The oldest known life span of male lucifer sheartail is seven years and five months in Texas.
Other Names: – (Ukrainian: Колібрі-білозір пустельний), (Swedish: Luciferkolibri), (Dutch: Luciferkolibrie), (Italian: Colibrì luciferino), (French: Barbe-Bleue), (Spanish: Colibri Horroroso), (German: Luzifer Kolibri), (Danish: Mexicansk Skovjuvel).
Status: – The population of lucifer sheartail is stable and Least Concern at the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Moreover, the Mexican population is not known.

Related Read – Band-tailed Barbthroat

Lucifer Hummingbird (Calothorax lucifer) is found in desert and arid interiors with agave plants habitats from central Mexico to the southwestern United States.
Lucifer Hummingbird (Calothorax lucifer) is found in desert and arid interiors with agave plants habitats from central Mexico to the southwestern United States. Photo Credit – Lee Hoy
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