The Mexican Violetear
A Mexican Violetear is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Mexican Violetears. We have also put together a list of fun Mexican Violetear t-shirts, Mexican Violetear bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.
About Mexican Violetears
The Mexican Violetear belongs to the hummingbird species and is found in Mexico and Nicaragua. It is medium-sized and metallic green in color. The species was once conspecific with the Lesser Violetear both being referred to as the Green Violetear. They breed in the highlands south to Nicaragua and southern Mexico but considered as a nonbreeding visitor to the southern and central parts of Texas.
Description and Identification
Mexican Violetears are medium-sized hummingbirds that are around 3.8 – 4.7 inches in
length with a wingspan of 7 inches. They are a vivid green overall with an iridescent green
upper part, throat, chest, and belly. The center of their chest has a dark metallic-blue patch
that gradually turns into a metallic green on the sides. The green is further highlighted by a
shining violet ear-patch that is present on the sides of their necks. Their bills are straight and
black with a downward curve while their tails are long and metallic blue-green with bronze
central feathers and a distinct black band. Females look similar to males but are slightly
duller; the blue on their chest is less vivid when compared to the males. Juveniles have
their upper tail coverts and feathers of rump and crown margined with pale gray while their
underparts are washed with grayish.
Mexican Violetear Color Pattern
Apart from being shining green on the upper parts, the Mexican Violetear has a glittering violet ear patch on its neck and sides. The chest and throat are more shining compared to the rest of the body. It has bronzy central feathers and metallic blue-green on the tail and an outstanding black subterminal band.
Mexican Violetear Size
The Mexican Violetear is considered a medium-sized bird among other types of birds in the hummingbird family. They span a length of 9.7-12cm and have a wingspan of 12cm on average. Their body mass ranges from 4.8-5.6g.
Mexican Violetear Behavior
They forage from near the ground to upper heights in canopies. They often perch on trees overlooking flowers which is their main source of food. The flowers make them territorial birds especially the males who defend them from conspecific birds. The territories may be used by the same birds year after year.
Females are territorial to their nesting surrounding where no other female of the same species is tolerated.
Mexican Violetear Food
Mexican Violetears primarily consume the nectar of various herbs like sage, lobelias, and
plume thistles. They typically forage alone but can be found gathering at flowering trees like
coffee-shade Inga. They forage at the mid-level canopy and are often observed to be defending
their feeding territory. They may also consume small insects, especially during breeding
These birds primarily feed on nectar and insects. Nectar is got from flower bearing trees especially the coffee-shade Inga.
Mexican Violetear Habitat
These birds are native to mountainous regions and inhabit montane forest borders, pine-oak
forests, clearings, and pastures with trees. They prefer regions that are high-altitude and
more humid, often being found in cloud forests. They also commonly inhabit subtropical and
lower temperate forests, secondary woodlands and scrub, and gardens in urban areas.
Although their rough elevational range is 3,280 – 10,826 feet, they can wander down till
1,600 feet in search of food sources.
Birdwatchers can find them in the canopy borders of subtropical and lower temperate forests, scrub, and woodland. They can also be found in clearings of gardens in subtropical regions and prefer high altitude humid areas.
Range and Migration
Mexican Violetears are solitary hummingbirds that are common in the mountainous regions
of Mexico and Central America. They were formerly considered to be the same species as
Lesser Violetears – both collectively known as ‘Green Violetears’ – but have recently been
classified as a separate species due to the differences in their plumage. They occur from
central and southern Mexico to the north-western region of Argentina, spanning an
incredibly wide range across South America. Populations at the northern portion of the range
tend to be partially migratory and have been observed to move south during winters. Rare
vagrants have also been spotted in Baja California and the United States. The remainder of
their populations is largely permanent residents of their breeding grounds.
Mexican Violetear Life Cycle
The female Mexican Violetear lay two eggs which they keep incubated for 14-18 days. The young take 23-28 days after hatching to take their first flight. They have a lifespan of 12 years.
Mexican Violetear Nesting
Nesting sites are selected by the females, with the males playing no role beyond mating with
the females. The location is typically on a low, horizontal branch at a height of 3 – 10 feet,
with sufficient surrounding vegetation in order to provide protection to the nest. The outer
cup is then woven out of various plant materials, moss, twigs, and spider silk. The inner cup is
usually lined with softer material, with more spider silk being used as it can stretch once the
eggs hatch. The clutch size is 2 eggs with an incubation period of a little over 2 weeks.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Mexican Violetears
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Mexican Violetears are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Mexican Violetear T-shirts
If you love the Mexican Violetear you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Mexican Violetear Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Mexican Violetear is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Mexican Violetear Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Mexican Violetear. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Mexican Violetears
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Mexican Violetears
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.