Magnificent Hummingbird – Accepted

1. 11 Oct–29 Nov 2003

AHY female

Pacific Beach SD



Fig. 240, ph., NAB 58:176, Unitt (2004), San Miguel & McGrath (2005)


Magnificent Hummingbird – Not accepted, identification not established

07 Sep 1977


vic. Auburn PLA




04 May 1978


vic. Riverside RIV




24 Apr 1984


Ridgecrest KER





Magnificent Hummingbird – Not submitted

15 Jul 1899


San Gorgonio Pass RIV



Loomis (1902), cf. Stephens (1902)









Figure 240. After three inconclusive reports of Magnificent Hummingbirds in the state, this well-documented adult female appeared in Pacific Beach, San Diego County, from 11 October to 29 November 2003. This photograph was taken on 13 October (2003-133; Matt Sadowski).






Magnificent Hummingbird

MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRD Eugenes fulgens (Swainson, 1827)

Accepted: 1 (25%)

Treated in Appendix H: yes

Not accepted: 3

CBRC review: all records

Not submitted/reviewed: 1

Large color images: see Figure and H-24

This large hummingbird’s northern fulgens group dwells in mountains from southern Arizona and New Mexico south to northern Nicaragua. The spectabilis group, regarded by some as a separate species, occupies parts of Costa Rica and western Panama. The species is migratory in the northern part of its range, exhibiting patterns of vagrancy that were reviewed by Williamson (2001) and Howell (2002a). Birds tend to stray northward during spring and summer, particularly to northern Arizona and Colorado (including breeding) and Utah, and more exceptionally to northern Nevada, Wyoming, South Dakota (NAB 59:615, 616, 690), Minnesota, and northeastern Kansas. In fall and winter, the species has been found as far east as southeastern Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia (NAB 58:211, 460).

Consistent with the Magnificent Hummingbird’s tendency toward lateral wandering in fall and winter, California’s first Magnificent Hummingbird was a widely seen adult female present from 11 October to 29 November 2003 in Pacific Beach, San Diego County (Figure 240). Shortly thereafter (but after the cutoff date for this book; see Appendix H), a female was present from 8 April to 17 May and on 21 June 2004 near Eureka, Humboldt County. The 2004 record accords with the Magnificent Hummingbird’s pattern of northward vagrancy during spring and summer.

One of the reports not accepted, that of a male in Kern County during spring 1984, received support from six Committee members during the fourth round of voting (Bevier 1990). The provenance of a male reportedly collected on 15 July 1899 in the San Gorgonio Pass, Riverside County (Loomis 1902), elicited doubt (Stephens 1902) even before the specimen was consumed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.