Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by Jim Parrish
Photo Copyright Jim Parrish

The black-chinned hummingbird, Archilochus alexandri, is a common hummingbird in Utah, occurring statewide at low and mid-elevations. It is found across the western United States, often in dry habitats, during warm months, and it migrates south to Mexico for winter.

As is typical for hummingbirds, the black-chinned hummingbird feeds primarily on nectar and frequently captures flying insects or gleans insects and spiders from vegetation. Nesting areas are often in canyons along stream beds. Except for mating, males do not participate in nesting or raising young. Females construct nests that are usually saddled on a small limb and are composed of plant down bound together with spider silk. The resulting structure is quite elastic, and can stretch to accommodate growing young. Two eggs are laid in early April and incubated for 13 to 16 days. Young leave the nest after 21 days. The female often produces a second brood and sometimes even a third.


  • Ehrlich, P. R., D. S. Dobkin, and D. Wheye. 1988. The birder's handbook: a field guide to the natural history of North American birds. Simon and Shuster, Inc., New York. xxx + 785 pp.

  • Baicich, P. J., and C. J. O. Harrison. 1997. A guide to the nests, eggs, and nestlings of North American Birds, Second Ed. Academic Press, San Diego. 347 pp.