The Lucifer Hummingbird is another rare visitor to extreme parts of southeast Arizona, southwest New Mexico and Big Bend area of Texas. It does breed in the Chisos Mountains of west Texas. It is quite distinctive with it’s curved bill and long purple gorget that extends down the sides of it’s neck. That purple gorget is so bright when hit with sunlight. It also has a narrow and forked tail that looks pointed when in it’s usual closed position. Post Note: I goofed-the hummer in the top photo is not a Lucifer Humminbird but a Costa’s, a species that looks quite similar. I thought I just had taken that photo from an odd angle that did not show the distinctive curved bill. You can see how similar it looks to the photos below that are of a Lucifer Hummingbird.
I photographed this Lucifer Hummingbird at Ash Canyon Bed & Breakfast located in Ash Canyon just south of Sierra Vista, AZ. This small B&B (it has only one ‘casita’ to rent) maintains a feeder station with a number of hummer feeders in a garden where the hummers stop to sip some natural nectar. Birders not staying in the casita are invited to the feeder station for a donation of $5/person that helps pay for the bird food. Chairs are set up to provide comfortable seating in the best viewing locations around the garden with access by several level walking paths. While I was there Broad-billed, Magnificent, Anna’s and Rufous in addition to the Lucifer’s came in to the feeders. Additionally seed, suet and nut feeders are set up in a separate area that brings in area specialties including Acorn Woodpecker, Mexican Jays and Bridled Titmouse without conflict with the hummers. Unlike some other feeder stations in the area is accessed by a very short walk from the parking area, is quite level and even wheelchair accessible.
Other locations that allow public viewing of hummingbird feeders (for a fee or donation to help with bird food) include Paton’s Birder Haven (also level and show walk) in Patagonia that I discussed in my recent post ‘Jewel of a hummingbird’, Beatty’s Miller Guest Ranch located just south of Sierra Vista (does involve a fairly long walk with climb up a hill to access feeder location), Ramsey Canyon Preserve also just south of Sierra Vista (does involve some walking with small hill to access some of the feeders) plus other locations in Cave Creek and Tucson areas. Be sure to check with the location about rules for use of cameras on tripods and use of flash.