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Blue-throated Mountain-gem

November 15, 2023

Welcome to our extensive educational blog on the Blue-throated Mountain-gem, a stunning hummingbird species that is sure to captivate bird enthusiasts and casual observers alike. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the Blue-throated Mountain-gem's size and shape, color pattern, behavior, habitat, fascinating facts, ecosystem services, and more. By delving into the intricate details of this remarkable bird, we hope to inspire a deeper appreciation for the wonders of nature and the avian world.


Size and Shape

The Blue-throated Mountain-gem is a medium-sized hummingbird species, measuring approximately 4 to 4.5 inches in length and weighing between 6 and 10 grams. This makes it one of the larger hummingbird species found in the Americas. The bird's most distinguishing feature is its long, straight bill, which it uses to feed on nectar from various flowers. The Blue-throated Mountain-gem has a slightly rounded head and a slender, elongated body. Its wings are narrow and pointed, allowing for rapid, agile flight and remarkable hovering capabilities.


Color Pattern

The Blue-throated Mountain-gem is aptly named for its striking iridescent blue throat, which is most vibrant in adult males. The rest of its head and upper body are predominantly metallic green, while its underparts are a mix of gray and white. Female Blue-throated Mountain-gems exhibit more muted colors, with green upperparts and grayish-white underparts. Both sexes have a white stripe behind the eye, which contrasts with their dark, blackish eyes. The bird's tail is dark, with white tips on the outer feathers, and its legs and feet are small and black.


Blue-throated Mountain-gems are known for their exceptional flying abilities, which enable them to hover in mid-air while feeding on nectar from flowers. They are also capable of rapid, agile flight, darting between flowers and performing impressive aerial acrobatics. These hummingbirds are primarily solitary, but they may be observed in small groups when feeding or during migration. Males establish and defend feeding territories, often engaging in high-speed chases and aerial displays to ward off rivals. Blue-throated Mountain-gems are primarily diurnal, resting in sheltered perches during the night.



The Blue-throated Mountain-gem inhabits montane forests and the edges of woodlands in Central America, particularly in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. They can be found at elevations ranging from 3,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level, with a preference for moist, cool, and shady areas. These hummingbirds are also known to visit gardens and hummingbird feeders in their range. During the non-breeding season, some individuals may descend to lower elevations, occupying a wider range of habitats, including semi-arid scrublands and forest clearings.


  1. The Blue-throated Mountain-gem is also known by other common names, such as the Blue-throated Hummingbird and the Blue-throated Sapphire.
  2. Despite their size, Blue-throated Mountain-gems have a relatively high wingbeat frequency, with rates of up to 50 beats per second during hovering flight.
  3. In addition to nectar, these hummingbirds consume small insects and spiders, which provide essential protein and nutrients for their high-energy lifestyle.
  4. Blue-throated Mountain-gems have a unique tongue structure, which is forked at the tip and lined with hair-like structures called lamellae. This specialized tongue allows them to efficiently extract nectar from flowers.
  5. During courtship, male Blue-throated Mountain-gems perform an elaborate aerial display, which includes a series of rapid, swooping dives to impress potential mates.

Ecosystem Services

Blue-throated Mountain-gems play a crucial role in their ecosystems as pollinators. As they feed on nectar from flowers, they inadvertently transfer pollen between plants, thus aiding in the reproductive process. This vital ecological service helps maintain the health and diversity of plant communities within their habitats. Additionally, by consuming small insects and spiders, these hummingbirds help control populations of these invertebrates, which can be beneficial to agriculture and forestry.


The Blue-throated Mountain-gem is an enchanting hummingbird species that never fails to captivate those who are fortunate enough to observe it. Its striking coloration, agile flight, and unique feeding habits make it an unforgettable avian treasure. By understanding the intricacies of its size and shape, color pattern, behavior, habitat, and ecological significance, we gain a deeper appreciation for the incredible diversity and beauty of the natural world. We hope that this extensive educational blog on the Blue-throated Mountain-gem has inspired you to further explore the wonders of birds and the vital roles they play within their ecosystems.