U S Fish and Wildlife Service


Past Featured Pollinators:
  Allen's Hummingbird
  Buff-bellied Hummingbird
  Calliope Hummingbird
  Costa's Hummingbird
  Crested Honeycreepers
  Dakota Skipper
  El Segundo blue butterfly
  Karner blue butterfly
  Lesser long-nosed bat

Mexican long-nosed bat

  Mitchell’s Satyr
  Monarch Butterfly
  Rufous Hummingbird
  Rusty patched bumble bee
  Taylor's checkerspot butterfly
More Pollinators:
  Fringed Orchids and Hawkmoths

Fun Fact:

The Calliope is the smallest hummingbird that breeds in the United States, with adults weighing less than a penny (0.088 oz.).



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Featured Pollinator

image of a Calliope Hummingbird.
Calliope Hummingbird
(photo: Alan Schmierer, CC0 1.0)

The Calliope Hummingbird (Selasphorus calliope) is a mountain-loving species and prefers habitats from 4,000 to 11,000 feet in elevation. They are often found near the timberline (the elevation where trees stop growing) in evergreen forests, along streams, aspen groves, and in second growth forests that have been clear-cut or burned. Calliope Hummingbirds can frequently be seen in urban areas during migration as they visit feeders and use flowering eucalyptus trees.Link to non-FWS site.

image of a Calliope Hummingbird.

Indian paintbrush (Castilleja spp.), a nectar source
(Credit: Mike Baird CC BY 2.0)



Adult Calliope Hummingbirds migrate northward in the spring from Mexico through the western United States to breeding grounds in northern Baja California and southern California north to southern British Columbia, and east to Montana, Wyoming, and Utah. The female is the primary caretaker for the young. The Calliope Hummingbird only has one brood (group of young) per season, typically with two hatchlings. It takes about 15 to 16 days for the eggs to hatch, and then the young remain in the nest another 18 to 21 days. Breeding season usually lasts from mid-May to July. Males migrate south a few weeks before females and juveniles. The Calliope Hummingbird typically lives five to six years.




image of a Calliope Hummingbird feeding.
Calliope Hummingbird Feeding
(Credit: Tatiana Gettelman CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Adults feed on flower nectar, small insects, and tree sap, and will regularly use hummingbird feeders. They use many different plants including red currant (Ribes triste), Indian paintbrush (Castilleja spp.), orange honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa), western columbine (Aquilegia formosa), skyrocket (Ipomopsis spp.), Rocky Mountain bee plant (Cleome serrulata), beardtongue (Penstemon spp.). They also use flowers not usually associated with hummingbirds such as yellow monkey flower (Mimulus tilingii var. caespitosus), lousewort (Pedicularis semibarbata), snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea), and pine-mat manzanita (Arctostaphylos nevadensis).

Last Updated: June 17, 2019
June 17, 2019