Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Calliope Hummingbird - Selasphorus calliope
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General Comments The Calliope Hummingbird was not detected in the state until 1995, when an immature male was photographed at a feeder in New Bern. Since then, it has occurred on at least 19 more occasions, all during the cooler months (as expected for a bird that breeds in the western United States and Canada). Unlike with the Black-chinned Hummingbird, where most records are from coastal areas, the majority of Calliope records -- again essentially all at feeders -- are from the Piedmont, plus several from the mountains. It is casual to accidental in the Coastal Plain. Perhaps this is not overly unexpected, as the Calliope is a breeder in the western United States and Canada in high mountain meadows and other open forests at higher elevations. As with many other hummingbird species, the identification of females and immature males can be very difficult. Apparently only two or three of these records are of adult males.

NOTE: In 2012, the species was moved from the genus Stellula to the genus Selasphorus, in which the Rufous, Allen's, and Broad-tailed hummingbirds are placed.

Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SZ
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Accidental. Three records, two from near the southern half of the coast: an immature male at New Bern from 29 Oct - 4 Nov 1995 [Chat 61:52-53 link], and a female near Hampstead (Pender) from 21 Dec 1996 - 15 Mar 1997 [Chat 66:25-28 link]. The third was an adult male at Seven Lakes (Moore) from 17-21 Nov 2009 [Chat 74:28 link].
Piedmont Winter visitor, with about 16 records. Very rare at feeders in cities and towns in the western half of the province -- Tryon, Shelby, Gaston, Charlotte, Monroe, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro; casual at feeders in the eastern part of the region, with records only from Swepsonville (Alamance), Hillsborough, and Castalia (Nash). Dates fall between mid-Oct - late Apr, but mainly from early Nov to early Mar. The bird at Hillsborough was an adult male. Peak count: all records are of single birds.
Mountains Accidental, in the southern mountains. Two records from Transylvania: at Deerlake from 26 Oct - 21 Nov 2000 [Chat 65:78 link], and at Little River from 4-8 Nov 2001 [Chat 66:73 link].
Finding Tips There are now records almost every winter or two, so you may have a fair chance to see one in a given year, but only by visitng a feeder with a Calliope.
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Attribution LeGrand[2018-02-19], LeGrand[2018-02-01], LeGrand[2016-09-29]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.
NA Maps
(source NatureServe)

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NN, NV, OR, TX, UT, WA, WY
Canada AB, BC, NT

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at

Range Map Compilers: WILDSPACETM 2002