This species of hummingbird certainly lives up to its name, as it is a truly spectacularly colored bird. This species of hummingbird became known as the Magnificent Hummingbird in the mid-1980’s and was previously known as the Refulgent Hummingbird or Ravioli Hummingbird. The name change is thought to be due to its spectacular plumage . This species of hummingbird was named after M. Massena, the Duke of Ravioli, in 1829 by French naturalist, Rene P. Lesson, who felt the bird had a regal and royal appearance.
This species of hummingbird became a part of our fauna in 1875 when Henry W. Henshaw found the first specimen at Camp Grant, Arizona.
The flight of this species of hummingbird is somewhat slower then other species of hummingbirds. This is because its wing strokes are less rapid, and it indulges in occasional periods of sailing on set wings, much after the manner of a swift.