Violet-crowned Hummingbird – Accepted

1. 06 Jul–late Dec 1976


Santa Paula VEN



ph., Johnson & Ziegler (1978), Roberson (1980), see also record not submitted

2. 25–29 May 1987


Bouquet Canyon LA



ph., AB 41:380

3. 26–30 Mar 1992


Kenwood SON



ph., AB 46:499

4. 03 Nov–03 Dec 1996


Carlsbad SD



ph., cover WB 29(2), Unitt (2004)

5. 17–23 Sep 1999


Westhaven HUM



Fig. 241, ph., NAB 54:116


Violet-crowned Hummingbird – Not accepted, identification not established

02–07 Apr 1992


Tiburon MRN





Violet-crowned Hummingbird – Not submitted

29 Jun–05 Jul 1977


Santa Paula VEN



Johnson & Ziegler (1978), Webster et al. (1980), see table entry 1








Figure 241. Unexpected in California, but possible anywhere in the state, is the Violet-crowned Hummingbird. After four southern California records, this individual was seen from 17 to 23 September 1999 at Westhaven, Humboldt County. This photograph was taken on the 19th (1999-155; Ron LeValley).







Violet-crowned Hummingbird

VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD Amazilia violiceps (Gould, 1859)

Accepted: 5 (83%)

Treated in Appendix H: yes

Not accepted: 1

CBRC review: all records

Not submitted/reviewed: 1

Large color image: see Figure

This hummingbird’s northern subspecies, A. v. ellioti, breeds from southeastern Arizona and extreme southwestern New Mexico south through western and central Mexico to at least Michoacán and Hidalgo (Phillips 1964). Birds that summer in the United States and northernmost Mexico winter in more southerly parts of the range. Subspecies violiceps is resident from extreme eastern and southern Michoacán south to northern Oaxaca. All extralimital records of this species in the United States—including those from central Arizona, southern New Mexico, southern and western Texas, in addition to California’s—presumably involve ellioti (Wethington 2002). The species has also been recorded in Veracruz. A sight report from Baja California Sur was treated as hypothetical by Howell et al. (2001).

California’s first Violet-crowned Hummingbird was found on 6 July 1976 in Santa Paula, Ventura County, and was recorded through late December of that year (Johnson and Ziegler 1978). California’s five records are scattered throughout the year and, surprisingly, all come from the coastal slope (but see Appendix H). The fall vagrant shown in Figure 241 (see page 248) managed to reach Humboldt County, the species’ northernmost recorded location.