WatchList Species Account for Calliope Hummingbird
(Stellula calliope)

Qualifies for the list as a Declining Yellow List Species

Photo: © Bill Schmoker
Photo: Bill Schmoker

The smallest North American breeding bird and the world’s smallest long-distance migrant, the tiny Calliope Hummingbird travels over 5,500 miles annually from its breeding grounds in western North America, where it ranges as far north as central British Colombia, and its wintering grounds in southwestern and south-central Mexico, where it occupies a relatively circumscribed range. It can be quite common in places; it is abundant in central Oregon, outnumbered only by the Rufous Hummingbird. It often turns up in winter in the south-central U.S., as far east as Florida.

Despite its small size, it is primarily a montane species during breeding, found at elevations of 3,937 to over 11,000 feet. It often nests in successional habitats 8-15 years old, following logging. In winter in Mexico it is found in a variety of habitats from dry thorn forest up to humid pine-oak forests.



Its numbers as measured in Breeding Bird Surveys have declined significantly only in two localities at the limits of its breeding range. Hummingbird feeders may cause populations to grow beyond natural levels. Severe weather events or disease outbreaks on its small wintering range in Mexico could threaten the species.