Lampornis – Mountaingems

A unique group of hummingbirds living high up in the North and Central American mountains

Mountaingems are a genus of dazzling hummingbirds found in the montane forests of the southwestern USA to the isthmus of Panama in Central America. A rule of thumb is that the males typically have a brightly colored throat, while the females have more buff or pale rufous undersides.

They feed on nectar from various flowers and critters, such as insects and spiders. They are typically solitary and territorial, only sharing feeding areas with mates during the breeding season. Males often attract females through songs, flight displays, or offering the bounties of their guarded flower clumps.

Females build the nest entirely and usually lay two eggs per clutch, which they incubate and care for on their own.