Magnificent Hummingbird Facts

  • This species of hummingbird was formerly known as the Refulgent Hummingbird or Rivoli’s Hummingbird until the mid-1980s. At that time, it then became commonly known as the Magnificent Hummingbird, which is thought to be due to its spectacular plumage.
  •  This bird was named after M. Massena, the Duke of Rivoli, in 1829 by French naturalist, Rene P. Lesson, because of its royal appearance.
  •  This species of hummingbird is one of the largest hummingbirds in the United States. Depending on what sources you consult, this bird is sometimes considered to be the largest of our North American hummingbirds.
  •  This species of hummingbird was added to our fauna by Henry W. Henshaw in 1875, when he found the first specimen at Camp Grant, Arizona in the 18th century.
  •  The flight of this hummingbird is somewhat different from that of other hummingbirds. The Magnificent Hummingbird is a large, heavily bodied bird, and its flight, though swift, is somewhat slower in proportion to its size than that of the smaller species. Its wing strokes are less rapid, and it indulges in occasional periods of sailing on set wings, much after the manner of a swift.
  •  Not much has been published on the food sources of Rivoli’s Hummingbird. They are believed to like honeysuckle and are especially fond of the blossoms of the mescal. The mescal is generally infested by numerous small insects, which these birds will feed. 
  •  There is no immediate conservation concern for this particular species of hummingbird. There is some concern that habitat destruction may be a problem in Mexico and Central America, but the specific effects of this potential problem have been documented at the present time.

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