Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Calliope Hummingbird (Selasphorus calliope)


French: Colibri calliope German: Sternelfe Spanish: Colibrí calíope

Trochilus (Calothorax) Calliope


, 1847,

Real del Monte, Hidalgo, Mexico


Previously placed in monotypic genus Stellula; has sometimes been included in Mellisuga or, alternatively, in Archilochus. Recent molecular study indicates that it belongs in present genus#R. Proposed race lowei (Guerrero) based on a winter specimen, and claimed differences fall within normal range of variation. Monotypic.


SW Canada (C & E British Columbia and SW Alberta) S through W USA in Rocky Mts and Sierra Nevada (Washington to California and E to Wyoming and W Colorado) to extreme NW Mexico (N Baja California). Winters in WC & SC Mexico (SE Sinaloa to EC Oaxaca).

Descriptive notes

6·9–7·4 cm; male 2·3–4 g, female 2·6–4 g. Male has straight black bill; upperparts shining bronzy-green; underparts white,... read more


Song a very high-pitched, thin, descending whistle “tseeeeuw” (dropping from c. 10 kHz to c. 5 kHz... read more


Generally cool montane environments, with temperature range of 0·5–25°C. Breeds at... read more

Food and feeding

Nectar from red tubular “hummingbird flowers” and wide variety of yellow, white, blue and purple flowers. Aerial foraging for... read more


May–Jul. Nest cup-shaped, in conifer, apple, or alder, 2–12 m above ground, beneath overhanging branch which shields from cold... read more


Site-fidelity indicated by recaptures of ringed birds. Migrates up to 4500 km to winter in Mexico (... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Generally common. Selects early shrub stages after clear-cutting. Long-term effects of deforestation due to climatic changes (moisture and... read more

Recommended citation

Calder, W.A. & Boesman, P. (2020). Calliope Hummingbird (Selasphorus calliope). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 29 January 2020).