Speckled Hummingbird Species

The Speckled Hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys) is a small hummingbird found in the Andes mountains of South America. With its vibrant green back and speckled throat, it is a beautiful and unique hummingbird.


The speckled hummingbird is one of over 300 different hummingbird species found worldwide. Hummingbirds are known for their small size, rapid wing beats, and ability to hover in midair as they feed on nectar from flowers. The speckled hummingbird stands out with its distinctive looks and high mountain habitat.

This article will provide an overview of the speckled hummingbird, including its identification, geographic range, habitat, diet, behavior, reproduction, and conservation status. Understanding the biology and ecology of this species provides insight into the diversity and adaptability of hummingbirds.


The speckled hummingbird reaches about 9-10 cm in length and weighs 5-6 grams. The male has vibrant green on its head, back, and rump. The throat and breast are covered in iridescent reddish-violet feathers decorated with small white speckles, giving the speckled hummingbird its common name. The belly is grey-white. Females lack the bright speckled gorget of the males and are overall duller in color. The speckled hummingbird’s slender black bill is adapted for reaching nectar at the base of long tubular flowers.

Range and Habitat

The speckled hummingbird is endemic to the Andes Mountains in South America. Its range extends from Venezuela to Bolivia between elevations of 2000 to over 4000 meters. It resides in mountain forests, woodlands, scrublands, and meadows. This high mountain habitat provides cooler temperatures and the flowers and insects that the speckled hummingbird depends on.


Like all hummingbirds, the speckled hummingbird mainly subsists on sugary nectar from flowers. It prefers flowers with long corollas that match its long, slender bill. Examples include lupine and passionflowers. The speckled hummingbird also feeds on small insects like gnats, a crucial source of protein. To conserve energy, the speckled hummingbird may drop into torpor, a temporary dormant state, at night.


The speckled hummingbird is solitary and territorial. Males establish feedings territories optimal for nectar sources. They perch conspicuously and investigate any intruders. Chases and vocalizations are used to drive away trespassing hummingbirds. Anything that enters their territory, even large birds, may be mobbed by the brave speckled hummingbird. Females also maintain their own non-overlapping feeding territories distinct from the males.

Vocalizations of the speckled hummingbird include thin, high-pitched chips and trills used during agonistic encounters with intruders. Males also produce elaborate buzzing sounds during courtship displays.


Speckled hummingbirds breed between April and July. Males perform elaborate courtship displays, flying in loops and dives to impress watching females. Mating occurs quickly with the pair perching together briefly.

Females are solely responsible for nest construction, incubation and rearing the chicks. The tiny cup-shaped nest is built with soft plant down, spider webs and lichens on a branch or tree fern. Two small white eggs are laid. Incubation lasts 16-19 days. The chicks fledge in about 3 weeks.


The speckled hummingbird is currently listed as of Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. Its remote mountain habitat likely provides some protection against widespread threats like habitat loss and fragmentation. However, climate change presents a potential future risk if plant communities change and move upslope. The speckled hummingbird warrants ongoing monitoring due to its specialized high elevation habitat.


With its dazzling colors and demanding habitat, the speckled hummingbird has adapted in incredible ways. While feeding, it braves cold temperatures and low oxygen levels that would leave other birds gasping for breath. This small long-billed wonder is a testament to the impressive abilities of hummingbirds. The speckled hummingbird remains a symbol of the rich biodiversity found in South America’s mountain ranges. Conserving these habitats will ensure the continued survival of this special species.