Description: Male's head and throat are deep rose red. Female's throat usually shows red flecks, often forming a patch of color. Underparts are grayish in both sexes, mixed with varying amounts of green. Back is an irridescent green in both sexes.
Habitat: Open woodland, chaparral, gardens.
Diet: Primarily nectar, also spiders and tree sap.
Displays: Male flight traces arc of vertical circle before female; rising very high, plummets downward making chirp sound at lowest point, then rises straight above female,
hovers and faces her at top of ascent, delivering brief squeaky song.
Nest: The cup-shaped nest is built in oak, vine, brush and human-built structures. It is thick and made of plant down bound with spiders' silk, lined with plant down and feathers. Building continues after the eggs are laid.
Eggs: White, unmarked; about one-half inch long.
Natural history notes: Once these birds wintered primarily in Mexico, but widespread planting of eucalyptus and cultivation of year-round garden flowers have led to permanent residency by many birds in coastal California. It is the most common and widespread of Orange County's hummingbirds.