The black chinned hummingbird species is found in low elevation areas and often reaches suburban gardens. Other species of western hummingbirds can remain in the area during the winter.
It reproduces in semi-open habitats, such as stream banks, areas with shrubs and oak groves in canyons. In the southwest, it avoids most of the open desert but can be found in dense landslides or desert rivers.
It feeds on flowers while hovering in the air by spreading its beak towards the center of the flower. With the backyard bird feeders, it can eat while hovering in the air or perched. To catch small insects, this species can fly and catch them midair or fly over to collect them from the foliage. In some cases, it eats cobweb bugs.
The female feeds the young by placing its beak deep in the mouths and regurgitating small insects, perhaps with a little nectar. The first flight of the offspring occurs at 20 or 21 days of age. This species’ diet includes insects and nectar from flowers. It also feeds on water and sugar-based mixtures in hummingbird feeders.
When it comes to the mating ritual, the male performs a pendular movement forming a wide U-shaped arc and making crispy sounds at each dive. It also entails short flights back and forth in front of the female when she is perched.
It nests in trees or shrubs, usually at a height of between 1.20 and 2.40 meters, sometimes smaller or larger (up to 9 meters). The nests are located in horizontal or diagonal branches. The nest (built by the female) is a compact structure made with grasses, plant fibers and cobwebs, and is lined with vegetable fluff. The outside of the nest is camouflaged with lichen, dried leaves and other debris.
The proximity of water and springs is important for hummingbirds. The clumps of trees include willows, poplars, alders and oaks scattered in the valleys. Males frequent the same type of habitat, but they are seen in arid canyons with fairly steep slopes covered with oaks and chaparral.
The black chinned hummingbird species have a strictly migratory behavior. They arrive in spring and leave in autumn. These birds spend most of the winter in Mexico. Some species move eastward in autumn and can spend the winter near the Gulf Coast.
This hummingbird has a thin beak of dark color. The upperparts are iridescent green with a white patch on the back of the eye. The lores and the chin are black to the ear covers. The throat has purple iridescent reflections. The rest of the white underparts are framed by greenish sides.
The wings are dark. On the forked tail, the lateral rectrices are greyish brown. The pair of central feathers are green while legs and feet are dark. Females closely resemble Costa’s hummingbirds but have a longer beak, a darker gray underside. The throat has more or less abundant speckles. Young males are also stained on the throat and their underside is grayer than the Costa’s.