Mexican Violetear

Colibri thalassinus




Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

14 - 18

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On drooping twig or rootlet a forest edge, streamside, or on overhanging road bank.

Nest Material:

Down, dry grass blades, and mosses.





Mexican Violetear: Medium hummingbird, dark metallic green (appearing black in low light) with blue-violet cheek and breast patches. Wings have black primaries. Squared tail is blue-green with black band. Slightly decurved bill is black. Sexes are similar but male is larger and the green throat and breast are more vibrant. Juvenile has buff underparts; crown and nape feathers have rufous edges. Feeds on nectar and insects. Direct, hovering flight with rapid wing beats. Formerly called the Green Violetear, it has had its name changed to Mexican Violetear and has also been split by the American Ornithologist Union in 2016 into the Mexican Violetear and Lesser Violetear (out of North American range).

Range and Habitat

Mexican Violetear: Can be found in mountain forests, forest clearings, and forest edges; common from central Mexico southward into northern South America. Vagrants may show up almost anywhere, with numerous records from the southern, central, and eastern regions of the U.S., and as far north as Alberta and Ontario.

Breeding and Nesting

Mexican Violetear: Two white eggs are laid in a nest made of down, dry grass blades, and mosses bound with cobwebs and decorated with moss and lichens. Nest is built by the female and built on drooping twig or rootlet at a forest edge, stream bank, or an overhanging road bank. Incubation ranges from 14 to 18 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Mexican Violetear: Feeds high to low in vegetation on nectar and insects.


Mexican Violetear: Call is a repeated, sharp, loud "tsip-tsip." Also gives a jerky, dry rattle "t'iiiiissk, t'iiiiissk, t'iiiiissk." Song is an irregular, rhythmic, metallic, dry "chitik-chitik, chitik-chitik."

Similar Species

Mexican Violetear: Blue-throated Mountain-gem is larger, has blue throat, white tips on tail feathers, and two white lines on face.

The upper front part of a bird.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X