Apodiformes

This bird order contains three families: Apodidae (swifts), Hemiprocnidae (tree swifts) and hummingbirds (Trochilidae). Hybridization is clearly more common between hummingbirds compared to the swifts. A phylogenetic study of the swift genera Apus and Tachymarptis also concluded that “introgression […] was ruled out as an explanation” (Packert et al., 2012).

The early literature on hummingbird hybrids is filled with morphological descriptions of various hybrid combinations (Berlioz, 1930; Short & Phillips, 1966; Taylor, 1909; Thayer & Bangs, 1907; Williamson, 1957), nicely summarized by Banks and Johnson (1961). The high incidence of hybrid hummingbirds led to discussions on generic classification of these birds (Ridgway, 1909; Taylor, 1909).

 

Rainbow-bearded Thornbill

A Rainbow-bearded Thornbill (Chalcostigma herrani)

 

Numerous hybrid hummingbirds, even between genera, have been described (the majority by Gary Graves). Here is an overview:

  • Violet-fronted Brilliant (Heliodoxa leadbeateri) x Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus amethysticollis) (Graves & Zusi, 1990 )
  • Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) x Calliope Hummingbird (Selasphorus calliope)(Graves & Newfield, 1996)
  •  Black-breasted Puffleg (Eriocnemis nigrivestis) x Sapphire-vented Puffleg (Eriocnemis luciani) (Graves, 1996)
  • Black-tailed Trainbearer (Lesbia victoriae) x Purple-backed Thornbill (Ramphomicron microrhynchum) (Graves, 1997a)
  • Gorgeted Woodstar (Chaetocercus heliodor) x White-bellied Woodstar (Chaetocercus mulsant) (Graves, 1997b)
  • White-chinned Sapphire (Hylocharis cyanus) x Glittering-throated Emerald (Amazilia fimbriata) (Graves, 1998a)
  • Long-tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus kingii) x Tyrian Metaltail (Metallura tyrianthina) (Graves, 1998b; Stiles & Cortes-Herrara, 2015)
  • Amethyst Woodstar (Calliphlox amethystina) x Glittering-bellied Emerald (Chlorostilbon lucidus) (Graves, 1999a)
  • Black-tailed Trainbearer (Lesbia victoriae) x Rainbow-bearded Thornbill (Chalcostigma herrani) (Graves, 1999b )
  • Bronzy Inca (Coeligena coeligena) x Black Inca (Coeligena prunellei) (Graves, 2001)
  • Violet-crowned Hummingbird (Amazilia violiceps) x Broad-billed Hummingbird (Cynanthus latirostris) (Graves, 2003a)
  • Purple-Throated woodstar (Calliphlox mitchellii) x White-bellied Woodstar (Chaetocercus mulsant) (Graves, 2003b )
  • Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl) x Cinnamon Hummingbird (Amazilia rutila) (Graves, 2003c )
  • Empress Brilliant (Heliodoxa imperatrix) x Green-crowned Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula) (Graves, 2004)
  • Costa’s Hummingbird (Calypte costae) x Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus) (Graves, 2006)
  • White-eared Hummingbird (Basilinna leucotis) x Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus) (Graves, 2007a)
  • Blue-throated Hummingbird (Lampornis clemenciae) x Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) (Graves, 2007b)
  • Fawn-breasted Brilliant (Heliodoxa rubinoides) x Empress Brilliant (H. imperatrix(Donegan and Dávalos, 2011)
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) x Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) (Graves et al., 2016)
  • Azure-crowned Hummingbird (Amazilia cyanocephala) x Berylline Hummingbird (Amazilia beryllina) (van Dort & Juarez-Jovel, 2016)

 

Several studies have documented the vocalizations and courtship display of certain hybrid hummingbirds, namely:

 

chilean woodstar

A Chilean Woodstar (Eulidia yarrelli)

 

Genetic studies on hummingbird hybridization have only recently appeared, mainly focusing on the dynamics between the Chilean Woodstar (Eulidia yarrelli) and the invasive Peruvian Sheartail (Thaumastura cora) (van Dongen et al., 2013; van Dongen, Vasquez & Winkler, 2012).

A phylogeographic study of three hummingbird species (Amazilia beryllina, A. cyanura and A. saucerottei) supports a scenario of secondary contact and range contact during the Pleistocene. Microsatellites suggest three genetic clusters (isolated by the Isthmus and the Nicaraguan Depression) with some indications of admixture, whereas mtDNA shows evidence for recent divergence and asymmetrical gene flow (Jiménez & Ornelas, 2016).

 

amazilia beryllina.jpg

A Berylline Hummingbird (Amazilia beryllina)

 

References

Banks, R. C. & Johnson, N. K. (1961). A review of North American hybrid hummingbirds. Condor, 3-28.

Berlioz, J. (1930). A New Hummingbird Hybrid, Calypte anna X Stellula calliope. Condor, XXXII, July, 1930. From Lower California, but with comments also upon hybrids previously taken in California, 215.

Clark, C. J., Feo, T. J. & Bryan, K. B. (2012) Courtship Displays and Sonations of a Hybrid Male Broad-Tailed × Black-Chinned Hummingbird. The Condor 114, 329-340.

Clark, C. J., Teo, T. J. & van Dongen, W. F. D. (2013) Sounds and Courtship Displays of the Peruvian Sheartail, Chilean Woodstar, Oasis Hummingbird, and a Hybrid Male Peruvian Sheartail × Chilean Woodstar. The Condor 115, 558-575.

Donegan, T. & Dávalos, L. (2011). An apparent hybrid Heliodoxa hummingbird from the West Andes of Colombia. Colombiana, 20.

Graves, G. R. & Newfield, N. L. (1996). Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves: Trochilidae) .1. Characterization of Calypte anna x Stellula calliope and the possible effects of egg volume on hybridization potential. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 109, 755-763.

Graves, G. R. (1996). Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves: Trochilidae). 2. Hybrid origin of Eriocnemis soderstromi Butler. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 109, 764-769.

Graves, G. R. (1997a) Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves: Trochilidae). 3. Parentage of Lesbia ortoni Lawrence. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 110, 314-319.

Graves, G. R. (1997b). Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves: Trochilidae) .4. Hybrid origin of Calothorax decoratus Gould. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 110, 320-325.

Graves, G. R. (1998a). Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves : Trochilidae). 5. Probable hybrid origin of Amazilia distans Wetmore & Phelps. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 111, 28-34.

Graves, G. R. (1998b). Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves : Trochilidae). 6. An intergeneric hybrid, Aglaiocercus kingi x Metallura tyrianthina, from Venezuela. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 111, 511-520.

Graves, G. R. (1999a). Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves: Trochilidae). 7. Probable parentage of Calliphlox iridescens Gould, 1860. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 112, 443-450.

Graves, G. R. (1999b). Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves : Trochilidae). 8. A provisional hypothesis for the hybrid origin of Zodalia glyceria (Gould, 1858). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 112, 491-502.

Graves, G. R. (2001). Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves : Trochilidae). 9. Confirmation of the hybrid origin of Coeligena purpurea Gould, 1854. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 114, 42-50.

Graves, G. R. (2003a). Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves : Trochilidae). 10. Cyanomyia salvini Brewster, 1893, is an intergeneric hybrid of Amazilia violiceps and Cynanthus latirostris. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 116, 293-300.

Graves, G. R. (2003b). Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves : Trochilidae). 11. Documentation of an intergeneric woodstar hybrid, Calliphlox mitchellii x Chaetocercus mulsant. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 116, 820-826.

Graves, G. R. (2003c). Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves : Trochilidae). 12. Amazilia bangsi Ridgway, 1910, is an intrageneric hybrid, Amazilia tzacatl x Amazilia rutila. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 116, 847-852.

Graves, G. R. (2004). Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves : Trochilidae). 13. An undescribed intrageneric combination, Heliodoxa imperatrix x Heliodoxa jacula. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 117, 10-16.

Graves, G. R. (2006). Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves : Trochilidae). 14. New perspectives on Sefton’s specimen (Calypte costae X Selasphorus platycercus) from the Rincon Mountains, southeastern Arizona. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 119, 516-521.

Graves, G. R. (2007a). Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves : Trochilidae). 15. A new intergeneric hybrid (Hylocharis leucotis X Selasphorus platycercus) from the Huachuca Mountains, southeastern Arizona. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 120, 99-105.

Graves, G. R. (2007b). Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves : Trochilidae). 16. Characterization of a striking intergeneric hybrid (Lampornis clemencide X Calypte anna) from Ramsey Canyon, Huachuca Mountains, southeastern Arizona. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 120, 106-112.

Graves, G. R. & Zusi, R. L. (1990). An intergeneric hybrid hummingbird (Heliodoxa leadbeateri x Heliangelus amethysticollis) from northern Colombia. Condor 92, 754-760.

Graves, G. R., Dittmann, D. L. & Cardiff, S. W. (2016) Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves: Trochilidae). 17. Documentation of the intrageneric hybrid (Archilochus colubris x Archilochus alexandri). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 129, 1-9.

Jiménez, R. A. & Ornelas, J. F. (2016). Historical and current introgression in a Mesoamerican hummingbird species complex: a biogeographic perspective. PeerJ 4, e1556.

Packert, M., Martens, J., Wink, M., Feigl, A. & Tietze, D. T. (2012). Molecular phylogeny of Old World swifts (Aves: Apodiformes, Apodidae, Apus and Tachymarptis) based on mitochondrial and nuclear markers. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63, 606-616.

Ridgway, R. (1909). Hybridism and generic characters in the Trochilidae. The Auk, 440-442.

Short, L. L. & Phillips, A. R. (1966). More Hybrid Hummingbirds from United States. Auk 83, 253-&.

Stiles, F.G. & Cortes-Herrara, J. O. (2015) Diagnosis and observations of a hybrid hummingbird (Metallura tyrianthina x Aglaiocercus kingi) in the Eastern Andes of Colombia. Revista de la Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales 39, 481-490.

Taylor, W. P. (1909). An instance of hybridization in hummingbirds, with remarks on the weight of generic characters in the Trochilidae. The Auk, 291-293.

Thayer, J. E. & Bangs, O. (1907). Another Hybrid Hummingbird-Selasphorus Rufus & Atthis Calliope-from California. The Auk.

van Dongen, W. F. D., Lazzoni, I., Winkler, H., Vasquez, R. A. & Estades, C. F. (2013). Behavioural and genetic interactions between an endangered and a recently-arrived hummingbird. Biological Invasions 15, 1155-1168.

van Dongen, W. F. D., Vasquez, R. A. & Winkler, H. (2012). The use of microsatellite loci for accurate hybrid detection in a recent contact zone between an endangered and a recently-arrived hummingbird. Journal of Ornithology 153, 585-592.

van Dort, J & Juarez-Jovel, R. (2016) A Hybrid Amazilia Hummingbird from Honduras. Ornitología Neotropical 27, 297-301.

Wells, S., Bradley, R. A. & Baptista, L. F. (1978). Hybridization in Calypte Hummingbirds. Auk 95, 537-549.

Williamson, F. S. (1957). Hybrids of the Anna and Allen hummingbirds. Condor, 118-123.

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