Xantus's hummingbird, Basilinna xantusii (syn. Hylocharis xantusii), is
a medium-sized hummingbird endemic to Baja California. It is 8–9 cm long, and
weighs approximately 3-4 g.
Adults are colored predominantly green on their upper parts and back. The
tail is mostly dark reddish-brown with faint black tips, but the inner two
retrices are green.
The most prominent feature is the white eye stripe found in both males and
females, and similar to the related White-eared Hummingbird. The stripe is
further enhanced by a bolder black stripe that borders the lower side.
Both genders share cinnamon-brown underparts including the undertail
coverts, with the cinnamon covering the throat in the female, notably different
to the contrasting white undertail coverts of the white-eared hummingbird. In
the male the throat is an iridescent green, though it is often seen as black.
The bill is reddish with a black tip and often slightly curved, unlike the
often straight bill of
the white-eared hummingbird. The crown is often
slightly greenish, but it appears black at many angles.
The breeding habitat occurs in various habitats of southern Baja Peninsula
of Mexico where it is considered endemic. It has been recorded as a vagrant up
the Pacific coast of North America to British Columbia in Canada.
These birds feed on nectar from flowers and flowering trees using a
long extendable tongue or catch insects on the wing.
This hummingbird was named after John Xantus de Vesey (Xantus János), a
Thought of the day:
It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. -Edmund
Hillary, mountaineer and explorer
Word of the day:
Voluble describes someone who talks a lot, like your aunt who
can’t stop telling you to cut your hair or a political candidate who makes
twenty speeches on the day before the election.
Have you ever found it especially hard to interrupt someone who talks a lot
when he or she gets on a roll? If so, it won’t surprise you that the adjective
voluble traces back to the Latin word volvere, meaning “to roll.” The word
voluble describes talking continuously, fluently, at great length, in a steady
flow. You’ll know it when you meet voluble talkers: they just keep rolling on
Interesting fact for today:
Long before the bonsai art form of creating miniature
trees came to Japan, the wealthy in China were perfecting their craft known as
“penzai” and “penjing.” The former means “tray plant” and the latter “tray
scenery.” It is from the Japanese pronunciation of “penzai” that the word
“bonzai” ultimately derives- “bon” meaning “tray-like” and “sai” meaning
“planting.” (The Japanese equivalent of penjing is bonkei, meaning “tray
Today, there is a World Bonsai convention that takes place every four
years to showcase the best bonsai masters and their work internationally.
Washington D.C. also houses the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum dedicated
to the miniaturized trees and landscapes.
And if you visit the Tokyo Imperial Palace and tour their bonsai
collection, you can spy some of the finest specimens in the world, including one
of the oldest known bonsai trees, the Third Shogun , which is a five-needle pine
that has been steadfastly maintained for an astounding five and a half