Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Lucifer Hummingbird (Calothorax lucifer)


French: Colibri lucifer German: Luzifersternkolibri Spanish: Colibrí luminoso
Other common names: Lucifer Sheartail

Cynanthus Lucifer


, 1827,

Temascáltepec, Mexico


Closely related to C. pulcher (which see). Monotypic.


SW USA (mountains in SE Arizona, SW New Mexico and SW Texas) S through C plateau of Mexico to Jalisco, Michoacán and Puebla. Winters from Nayarit E to Puebla and S to Oaxaca, irregularly N to Sinaloa.

Descriptive notes

9–10 cm; 2·9–3·5 g. Medium-sized hummingbird with long, decurved, black bill; both sexes green above. Male has dull green forehead, rest of... read more


Display-flight of male starts by approaching female, shuttling quickly back and forth in c. 2 m-... read more


Arid scrub, canyons and lower mountain slopes. In N Chihuahuan Desert, found mainly in canyons and... read more

Food and feeding

Nectar from a variety of flowers; in Texas, takes nectar from mostly red-flowered herbs or shrubs such as Penstemon havardii, ... read more


Apr–Aug in Texas, but sometimes delayed until late May or Jun when summer rains begin; May–Sept at Mexico City. Nests sometimes... read more


Breeding populations near Mexico City and along USA–Mexico border are migratory; status in E... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Breeding range is large and a variety of xeric habitats appear to be acceptable. Preference, during breeding season in north, for arid,... read more

Recommended citation

Scott, P.E. & Boesman, P. (2020). Lucifer Hummingbird (Calothorax lucifer). 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 25 February 2020).