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Allen's Hummingbird

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					Allen's Hummingbird
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The Allen's Hummingbird, Selasphorus sasin, is a species of hummingbird. The
                                                                                                    Allen's Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbird is a small bird, with mature adults reaching only 3 to 3½ inches
(75 to 90 mm) in length. The male Allen's has a green back and forehead, with rust-
colored rufous flanks, rump, and tail. The male's throat is also an iridescent orange-
red. The female and immature Allen's Hummingbirds are similarly colored, but lack
the iridescent throat patch, instead having a series of speckles on their throat.
Females are mostly green, featuring rufous colors only on the tail, which also has
white tips. The immature Allen's Hummingbirds are so similar to the female Rufous
Hummingbird that the two are almost indistinguishable in the field. Both species'
breeding seasons and ranges are common factors used to differentiate between the
two species in a particular geographical area.
The Allen's Hummingbird is common only in the brushy woods, gardens, and
                                                                                                    Adult female tending nest
meadows of coastal California from Santa Barbara north, and a minuscule portion of
lower Oregon. The nominate race of Allen's Hummingbird S.s. sasin is migratory,                     Conservation status
and winters along the Pacific coast of central Mexico. A second race S.s.
sedentarius is a permanent resident on the Channel Islands off southern California.
This population colonized the Palos Verdes Peninsula of Los Angeles County in the
1960s and has since spread over much of Los Angeles and Orange Counties.                           Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
The courtship flight of the male Allen's Hummingbird is a frantic back and forth flight            Scientific classification
arc of about 25 feet (10 m) similar to the motion of a swinging pendulum, followed        Kingdom:          Animalia
by a high-speed dive from about 100 feet (30 m). The male is also highly aggressive
                                                                                          Phylum:           Chordata
and territorial. Hot-tempered despite its diminutive stature, a male Allen's
Hummingbird will chase any other males from its territory, as well as any other           Class:            Aves
hummingbird species, and they have even been known to attack and rout predatory           Order:            Trochiliformes
birds several times larger than themselves such as kestrels and hawks.                    Family:           Trochilidae
The Allen's Hummingbird constructs its nest out of plant fibers, down, and weed           Genus:            Selasphorus
stems, coating the nest with lichens to give it structure. The nest is placed above       Species:          S. sasin
ground on a tree branch or the stalk or stem of a plant. The female lays two white
                                                                                                       Binomial name
eggs, which she will incubate for 15 to 17 days. The young will leave the nest about
three weeks after hatching. The mother will continue to feed the fledglings for                      Selasphorus sasin
                                                                                                         (Lesson, 1829)
several more weeks, then the young are left to fend for themselves.
                                           Like all hummingbirds, the Allen's
                                           Hummingbird's high rate of metabolism
                                           requires it to feed frequently, about every
                                           hour. The Allen's Hummingbird drinks
                                           nectar from flowers, as well as eating any
                                           small insects it finds crawling around the
                                           flower blossom, which provide it with
                                           needed protein.
                                           The common name commemorates
       Allen's Hummingbird feeding
                                           Charles Andrew Allen (1841-1930),
                                           American collector and taxidermist.
A hybrid between this species and Anna's Hummingbird has been described as
Floresi's Hummingbird, "Selasphorus" floresii (Ridgway, 1909; Taylor, 1909).
                                                                                                           Breeding range
References                                                                           Breeding and wintering range
                                                                                           Wintering range
  BirdLife International (2004). Selasphorus sasin. 2006. IUCN Red List of
  Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org . Retrieved on 09 May
  2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least
  concern
  Ridgway, Robert (1909): Hybridism and Generic Characters in the Trochilidae.
  Auk, 26(4): 440-442. PDF fulltext
  Taylor, Walter P. (1909): An instance of hybridization in hummingbirds, with
  remarks on the weight of generic characters in the Trochilidae. Auk, 26(3): 291-
  293. PDF fulltext

External links
  Allen's Hummingbird photo
  Allen's Hummingbird videos    on the Internet Bird Collection
  Allen's Hummingbird photo gallery    VIREO
                                                                                     Wikimedia Commons has media
  Live nest webcam
                                                                                     related to: Selasphorus sasin


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