Home A - Z FAQ Art Prints Online Library Discussion Forum Muir Weather Maps About Search
Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

Next: Roller-like BirdsContentsPrevious: Goatsucker-like Birds

Birds of Yosemite National Park (1954, 1963) by Cyril A. Stebbins and Robert C. Stebbins


SWIFTS AND HUMMINGBIRDS: Order Apodiformes

SWIFTS: Family Apodidae

VAUX'S SWIFT
VAUX’S SWIFT
VAUX’S SWIFT (Chaetura vauxi): 4 1/2 in. Above dark brown, lighter on rump and tail; throat and breast light gray; rest of under parts sooty; tail short, not forked. Flight strong, swift, erratic, consisting of glides with wings extended stiffly from body and distinctly bowed downward, alternating with rapid wingbeats. Nests in burned-out, hollow tree trunks, mostly redwoods.

In summer found along the coast from Santa Cruz Co. northward and occasionally in the Sierra. M. throughout, including Sierra. C. V. to Yosemite region. Recorded in Yosemite Valley.

BLACK SWIFT (Cypseloides niger): 7 in. General coloration black; at close range small amount of white may be seen about face; undersides of wings may appear silvery at certain angles; slender curving wings; tail slightly forked. Voice a high-pitched twitter. Nests in cliffs near waterfalls or in sea-bluffs.

S. V., breeding in the Transition life zone of the central coast of California, and the central and southern Sierra Nevada. Seen in Yosemite Valley and found nesting in Tenaya Canyon.

WHITE-THROATED SWIFT
WHITE-THROATED SWIFT
WHITE-THROATED SWIFT (Aeronautes saxatalis): 6 1/2-7 in. Chin, throat, breast, middle line of belly, and patches on flanks white; flank patches show from above; rest of plumage essentially black; tail slightly forked; wings long and slender. In flight, one sees flashes of white on breast and rump. Song, a twittering series of descending notes resembling song of a canyon wren. A remarkably fast flier.

Frequents the vicinity of cliffs (often of granite) where it roosts and nests. Breeds chiefly in the Lower and Upper Sonoran life zones and into the Transition zone. S. V. in the Yosemite region, usually near sheer cliffs. Common about Yosemite Valley.


HUMMINGBIRDS: Family Trochilidae

BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD
BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD
BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus alexandri): 3-1/3-4 in. Above green with bronze iridescence; chin black, bordered by iridescent violent band which, in turn, is bordered by white collar; below ash-gray, tinged chiefly on sides with dull green. Female: White thumb-marks on outer tail feathers; under parts, including throat, chiefly white; throat with faint dark flecks.

Inhabits mountains, foothills, canyons, and gardens in lowlands during the summer. Nests chiefly in deciduous trees along stream bottoms in the Upper Sonoran life zone. In Yosemite region, S. V. at lower elevations, higher in late summer. Observed at El Portal, Yosemite Valley, and Mono Lake.

ALLEN’S HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus sasin): 3 1/2 in. Back metallic green; tail reddish-brown; throat coppery red; below rich brown except white on breast. Female: Essentially like female rufous hummingbird. S. V. in Transition and Canadian life zones of Sierra during post breeding southward migration, when it ranges widely. C. V. to Yosemite region. Has been observed in Yosemite Valley and up to Badger Pass and Gin Flat.

ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD
ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD
ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD (Calypte anna): 4 in. Above greenish; forehead and throat iridescent crimson; throat with elongated feathers on each side; under parts dusky with green tinge. Female: Throat usually flecked with crimson; white thumb-marks on tips of outer tail feathers. Largest hummingbird of the region.

Frequents broken chaparral and woodland. Breeds chiefly in the Upper Sonoran life zone but widely distributed when not breeding. In the Yosemite region R. in the foothills and a S. V. to the Transition life zone.

RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus rufus): 3 1/2-4 in. Above rufous with faint greenish tinge to head and sometimes back; throat iridescent coppery red or brilliant crimson bordered below with white band; below rich brown; rufous on sides. Female: Above green, tinged with rufous; throat sometimes with some red; faint rufous on sides; white thumb-marks on outer tail feathers.

M. chiefly in lowlands and foothills when moving north, and along the mountains when returning south. M. in the Yosemite region. Most likely to be seen at higher elevations in July and August when in southbound migration. Seen above 12,000 feet, Parsons Peak.


CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD
CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD
CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD (Stellula calliope): 2 3/4-3 1/2 in. Above metallic green; below white; sides greenish-brown; iridescent throat patch of reddish-purple feathers which, especially when bird is excited, radiate like spread fingers of one’s hand. Female: Head and back green, washed with bronze; white throat, flecked with dusky; under parts washed with reddish-brown; tail feathers tipped with white. Smallest hummingbird in the United States.

S. V. in the Transition and Canadian life zones in the Yosemite region. Seen from March to September in Yosemite Valley where it breeds.



Next: Roller-like BirdsContentsPrevious: Goatsucker-like Birds

Home A - Z FAQ Art Prints Online Library Discussion Forum Muir Weather Maps About Search
Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/birds_of_yosemite/swifts_hummingbirds.html