American Birding Podcast



#ABArare – Amethyst-throated Hummingbird – Quebec

On July 30, Annie Lavoie of Saguenay County, Quebec, noted a large unusual hummingbird coming to a feeder at her home. Originally identified as a Blue-throated Hummingbird, it appears certain now that the bird in question is an Amethyst-throated Hummingbird, a species found in Mexico and northern Central America and, if accepted by the committee in Quebec and the ABA CLC, a potential ABA Area first.

Photo: Annie Lavoie

Photo: Annie Lavoie


Photo: Samuel Denault

Photo: Samuel Denault

Saguenay is about 5 hours northeast of Montreal, on the north side of the St. Lawrence River. The bird was present for two days and absent on the third. It has not been seen since. The sighting was not made public out of concern for the homeowner.

Amethyst-throated Hummingbird is a fairly common species in montane pine-oak forests of northern Mexico through northern Central America. It comes as close to the ABA Area as southeastern Tamaulipas. It consists of 5 recognized subspecies, of which the nominate amethystinus is the closest to the the ABA Area.

Notably, there is another, unaccepted, record of what was presumed to be this species from San Benito, Texas, in July, 2006.

It goes without saying that such a record would be one of the oddest ever in the ABA Area, but hummingbirds, in particular, have a history of turning up in extraordinary places. Most notable in recent years, a Berylline Hummingbird in upstate Michigan in 2014, and a Bahama Woodstar in eastern Pennsylvania in 2013.