The Allen’s Hummingbird, is a small species of hummer, and one of the many hummingbird visitor’s to Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson. This hummer has iridescent green feathers on its back, with a white head and chest, and rusty colored sides. The throat is a glittering copper-red. The stomach, rear and tail are also rust in color. Their beak is straight and black.
This hummingbird enjoys a varied diet of nectar from flowers, insects, spiders and sap from trees. When in a courting mood, the male displays beautiful acrobatics in mid-air, swooping back and forth in 25 foot arcs. They will also dive up to 100 feet as part of the show.
There aren’t very many hummers that are aggressive, but this one is very territorial, and will run off other birds from its nesting site, including much larger birds.
Hiking in the Santa Ritas offers many opportunities to view wildlife including hummingbirds. While many of the trails are steep, the best part about these mountains as you do not have to go far to find some peace and quiet.
Reference: The Nature of Madera Canyon by Douglas W. Moore, Friends of Madera, 1999; whatbird.com