Rivoli’s (Magnificent) Hummingbird

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Rivoli’s Hummingbird is widely distributed throughout Mexico and Central America as far south as Nicaragua, but it has a very limited range in the United States, consisting of the southeastern corner of Arizona and the southwestern corner of New Mexico. It prefers oak forests and mountain canyons and so, it shows up only in limited locations within its range.

Recently, I encountered some of these birds visiting hummingbird feeding stations in Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson.

Rivoli’s Hummingbirds are large as hummingbirds go, but tiny when compared to most other bird species. This bird has a body length of just over five inches (about 12.7 cm) and a wingspan of about 7.5 inches (about 19 cm), but weighs barely 1/4th ounce (about 7 grams). The males are known for their gem-like plumage that includes an iridescent turquoise throat

Both male and female birds have beaks that appear to be long in proportion to their bodies.

Rivoli’s Hummingbird used to be known as the Magnificent Hummingbird. Recently, ornithologists classified two distinct species that formerly had been classified under the Magnificent Hummingbird name. They gave the name “Rivoli’s Hummingbird” to one of the two species. The name, by the way is the original, 19th Century name given to this species.

Bird nomenclature can be a bit confusing at times, made more so by the occasional official name changes of some species. It’s best to remember that the birds don’t change even if their names do, and in fact, I’m certain that they could care less what we call them.

Images made with a Canon R5, Canon EF 400mm f4 DO II lens+1.4x telextender, M setting (auto ISO). First image, ISO 500, f5.6 @ 1/2500. Second and third images, ISO 1600, f5.6 @ 1/2000.

One Reply to “Rivoli’s (Magnificent) Hummingbird”

  1. […] Rivoli’s (Magnificent) Hummingbird — Sonoran Images […]

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