Though the Violet-crowned Hummingbird is fairly common in Mexico, it is most uncommon in the United States. It can only be found in a tiny corner of southwest New Mexico and very southeast Arizona, both locations where it regularly nests.
This hummer has a violet crown for which it is named. It is a most striking with it’s pure white underparts and red bill with black tip. The Violet-crowned Hummingbird is the only hummer in North America that does not have a colorful gorget.
The most reliable location to see this hummer is at Paton’s Hummer Haven in Patagonia, AZ and that is where I took these photos. Earlier this month I wrote about the Paton’s Hummer Haven and the efforts to save it so that bird watchers can continue to enjoy the Violet-crowned as well as the several others species of hummers plus many other birds that are drawn here. They have chairs set up, with a cover above to shade bird watchers from the sun and rain, within a short distance of the feeders so one can get nice photos of the hummers.
These 4 inch long hummers lay only 2 eggs in their tiny cup-shaped nests. The nests, which are composed of “composed mainly of cottony, white plant down,” are bound together with spider webs then decorated on the outside with lichens, weed seeds and a leaf according to Birds of North America online. Their nests are only about an inch and a half in diameter. As these are fairly long hummers, they must have to perch mostly upright to fit in such a tiny nest.