The Lucifer Hummingbird

The name Lucifer means “light bearer.Lucifer is also the name of the archangel who fell from heaven.

The bill of this hummingbird is quite distinctive among other species of hummingbirds, because of the fact that its bill is so long and it curves down sharply at the tip. The distinctive bill is believed to be an natural adaptation which helps bird collect insects from flowers.

A study of one territorial male showed how the bird spent an hour of time.The vast majority of his time, 41 minutes, was spent perched. The bird only spent 4 minutes feeding. Each feeding was very brief, lasting only 12 seconds in length. I found this quite amazing, because most hummingbirds will usually visit between 1000-2000 flowers per day.The final 15 minutes of the hour was spent by the male chasing away intruders.

The Lucifer hummingbird lives in open desert areas where its favorite plant is the agave. Whenever this plant is in bloom, it is an abundant source of nectar as well as insects. During the mating season, the male Lucifer will often make its territory among two or three agave plants. The female Lucifer will often make her nest on this plant as well.

In the U.S., the breeding season for this species of hummingbird is May to August. Their breeding range is very small, southeastern Arizona and western Texas.Their non-breeding range is central Mexico. These birds migrate northward in April and May and southward in September.

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