Wine-throated Hummingbird Atthis ellioti
Version: 1.0 — Published March 29, 2013
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Diet and Foraging
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Wine-throated Hummingbird visits flowers in all strata, although perhaps is more frequent at low to mid heights (Howell and Webb 1995). There is little information on the flowering plants visited by this species. In El Salvador, W.A. Thurber noted Wine-throated Hummingbird foraging on flowers of a plant locally called sacatinta (Fuchsia parviflora), which blooms profusely in September through October and produces at least a few blooms throughout the remainder of the year; it inhabits a wide variety of habitats from open fields, brushy second growth, and woodland edges, and sometimes even in open woodland by clambering up through the crowns of tall trees towards sunlight. Another common species that produces abundant nectar while blooming during October-December is estoraque (Styrax argentus), which may grow to the height of small trees; its flowers attract a wide variety of insects and hummingbirds. On one occasion a male Wine-throat was observed feeding on flowers of a low branch of a chicharra (a composite), 3-4 m above the ground. A much used exotic, hollyhock (Althaea rosea), attracts many hummingbirds including Wine-throats. A geranium, Pelargonium hortorum, widely used in Cerro Verde National Park as a bedding plant, attracts at least five species of hummingbirds in numbers, including Wine-throated.
On Volcán Santa Ana, El Salvador, Wine-throated Hummingbirds took nectar from Crusea calocephera (Thurber et al. 1987). Another species of flower visited, as documented by pollen samples (identified by P. Bernhard), is Spaeralcea umbellata (Malvaceae).
Wine-throated Hummingbird presumably also feeds on small arthropods, as do most if not all species of hummingbirds (Remsen et al. 1983).