Biology / Science

Hummingbirds and migration

A very specific question for today: “How do I know if the hummingbirds in my area migrate or not, and should I put out a hummingbird feeder or would that disrupt their migration if they were going to migrate?”

Glittering-bellied Emerald (4303092506)On inquiry, the area is Córdoba, Argentina, and one of the species is the “glittering-bellied emerald”. Apparently they are frequently called Chlorostilbon aureoventrisbut in fact the name which had priority was Chlorostilbon lucidus. The bird doesn’t seem to be particularly endangered (listed as being of “least concern” on the IUCN list of threatened species), with an extensive range covering a large portion of South America. It’s happy to accept man-made habitats. Looks like it is present all year round and there should be no concern about disrupting anything by feeding it.

The other species is the versicoloured emerald, Amazilia versicolo; the taxonomy is a bit more confused here, with the alternative genus Agyrtria also being suggested. This species seems to be in no danger either, and may even be benefitting from deforestation as it prefers to live in open spaces! I can’t find any reference to this hummingbird migrating either, with maps showing it across a similar swathe of South America all year round.Versicoloured emerald (Amazilia versicolor) 1

Conclusion: feed away!

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