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BIRD OF THE WEEK
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Selasphorus calliope
POPULATION: 4.5 million
HABITAT: Breeds in open forest and edge, scrub, and meadows at higher elevations in the of western North America; winters in thorn and pine-oak forests and shrubby edges in western Mexico.
The Calliope Hummingbird is a tiny wonder – at only around 3 inches long, it’s the smallest breeding bird in Canada and the United States, and the smallest long-distance migratory bird in the world.
When a female Calliope Hummingbird perches within his territory, the resident male swings into courtship mode, hovering in front of his potential mate with iridescent throat feathers spread into a shining starburst. He also makes a loud buzzing noise during this flashy display. If the female is suitably impressed, she leaves her perch and joins the male in an aerial dance, with both birds circling each other, sometimes even clasping bills.