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Mango ID; rare hummers in GA and TN
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- Subject: Mango ID; rare hummers in GA and TN
- From: Joshua Stuart Rose <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 17:35:50 -0500 (EST)
- In-Reply-To: <200011291703.MAA28735@smtpsrv0.isis.unc.edu>
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On Wed, 29 Nov 2000, shantanu phukan wrote:
> I did not, however, find a range map showing just what its
> normal range is. Does anyone know?
Did a little web-surfing on the topic. Have not been able to find
anything specific on the range of the species, although it is apparently
common in Belize (the only place other than Concord, NC where I've seen
the species), Nicaragua, and Costa Rica as well as Mexico. What I did find
that seemed interesting was a few entries from the records of the Texas
Bird Records Committee on a few of their records. I've pasted these
below. The most informative was John Arvin's discussion on distinguishing
Green-breasted Mango from the two other Mango species that bear the
strongest resemblance to it, and the relative likelihood of the three
species straying to the US. North Carolina committee members might find
this worth perusing, at least.
On the other hand, I also found a reference that the Green-breasted Mango
was originally called Prevost's Mango, and that the common name change
came as a result of splitting the species from the Veraguan Mango,
Anthracothorax veraguensis. I don't see any discussion below of how to
tell these two species (split in 1983 by AOU) apart, unless the latter
has had its name changed again...
I also found, at http://home.att.net/~dr.billie.taylor/TX97TR.html, a
note describing a few birders who just missed a Green-breasted Mango in
Corpus Cristi, TX in 1997. The names include Jim Huntington and Paul
Sykes, both of whom showed up to enjoy the critter in Concord... In
addition, photos of TX mangos at
And an Indiana birder, Phil Kelley, has posted several photos of the
Concord critter at http://www.pjkelly.net/gallery/gbma.htm
Lastly, I found a page where Nancy Newfield and several others discuss
possible new hummingbird species for each of several states. John Gerwin
of Raleigh contributes a note on North Carolina, but (astonishingly) did
not predict Green-breasted Mango as one of the likely new species... full
text at http://www.hummingbirds.net/humnotes/humnotes0899.html
In other hummingbird news, a Calliope Hummingbird was banded In Monterey,
Putnam County, Tennessee (about 200 miles from Asheville) on Saturday;
directions have been posted on the Tennessee listserv and forwarded to
BIRDCHAT. And a Broad-tailed Hummingbird was banded yesterday in Acworth,
Cherokee County, Georgia (about 165 miles from Greenville, SC);
directions have been posted to the Georgia birding listserv. The same
listserv also mentions a male Vermilion Flycatcher near the Okefenokee
Swamp, hopefully that isn't the Goldsboro bird heading south!
Joshua S. Rose
Department of Biology (Zoology, R.I.P.)
Green-breasted Mango (Anthracothorax prevostii) (1). One
female or immature was photographed, captured, measured,
feather-plucked, and released in Corpus Christi, Nueces during
its stay 6-27 January 1992 (CJ, WJ, CC, GL, CS, JD, PL, SF,
MC, AC, GDL, PG, FB, BRi, LA, NN, LP; 1992-10, TPRF #xxxx).
A photograph documenting this first record for the United
States was published in AB 46:332. Due to the complexity in
Anthracothorax identification, a half dozen authorities on
neotropical hummingbirds were consulted. Consultants and
committee members generally concluded the bird was prevostii
beyond a reasonable doubt and the record was accepted.
Numerically, the addition of Green-breasted Mango to the
Review List resulted in the removal of "Mango species"
previously added in 1990. Consequently, no numerical
difference to the total accepted species count was realized.
Green-breasted Mango (Anthracothorax prevostii) (3). One
female plumaged bird, exhibiting an iridescent green belly
stripe, was videotaped in Falfurrias, Brooks during its stay
22-27 September 1993 (JoB, ESo, AO; 1994-30, TPRF #1273).
Female and immature Green-breasted Mangos can be confused with
Black-throated Mango in that both species have long ventrally-
located dark central stripes. Initially, this record was
accepted only as "mango sp.". However, research by Arvin
demonstrates that such mangos can be safely identified if
blue/green iridescence is seen in the central stripe. Thus,
the present record was accepted on second review.
Additionally, at the TBRC annual meeting on 16 September 1995,
the committee voted 7-1 to elevate Texas' first record of a
"mango sp." (1988-272) to a Green-breasted Mango based not on
central stripe color (which was not evident in the photos or
description) but on geographic probability. Therefore, the
number of accepted Green-breasted Mango records increased by
two for this annual report.
Arvin discussed his findings regarding identification of immature/female
Mango sp. hummingbirds of Central America and northern South America.
Arvin has now visited 3 of the 4 major North American collections with
numbers of Mango specimens (LSU, Smithsonian, and Field Museum of
Chicago; American Museum of Natural History specimens have not been
examined). He examined all specimens of the 3 mainland Mango species
which are possibly confused:
1.GBMA - Green-breasted Mango (Anthracothorax prevostii)
2.GTMA - Green-throated Mango (A. viridigula)
3.BTMA - Black-throated Mango (A. nigricollis)
A brief summary of distinctive aspects follows:
GTMA is a scarce hummer of n.e. S. Am. It is rare in collections.
Fem/imms are easy to separate because the dark stripe on the center of
the underparts is short, extending barely past the throat.
BTMA occurs in humid tropical lowlands. Fems/imms are very similar to
GBMA except that the central dark stripe NEVER shows any blue or green
iridescence; it is flat black.
GBMA is highly migratory at least in the northern part of its range.
GBMA fem/imms have varying amounts of color in the central dark stripe
but: No GBMA failed to show at least a little blue or green color (at
least a few metallic feathers) in the stripe. Thus, IF a mango is a
fem/imm and IF any blue/green iridescence is seen in the dark belly
stripe, it is a confirmed Green-breasted Mango. If no color is seen, it
may be accepted at least as a mango sp. Based on geographic probability,
and the fact that the northern pops of GBMA are migratory and no other
pops of any of the other spp. are, it is a virtual certainty that any
mango sp. in Texas is a GBMA (barring escaped captive). TBRC members may
continue to make their own decisions on how conservative they may choose
to view records in which no color in the central stripe is seen.
Arvin could find no other plumage differences that would be useful at
distinguishing fem/imm GBMA and BTMA. Apparently the amount of
rufous/rusty on the sides of the neck does NOT help; it is quite variable
within and between these two species.
Based on this new information, the Committee re-examined the existing
mango records for consistency of interpretation:
Record 1988-272 (Brownsville, September 1988; previously accepted
as Mango sp. only) could not be demonstrated to have shown any blue or
green in the center stripe. Nonetheless, on a motion by Sexton (second:
Reid), the Committee accepted the record as a Green-breasted Mango on a
vote of 7-1 (Arnold voting "No").
Record 1994-30 (Falfurrias, September 1993; just completed
circulation and accepted as Mango sp. It was known to have had green
visible in central stripe on one of the VHS tapes. On a motion by Sexton
(second: Reid), the Committee unanimously (8-0) accepted the record as a
* Based on the above described identification and distribution
information, the committee strongly feels that the possibility of any
mango sp. occurring in Texas other than GBMA is virtually nil. Still, it
will be up to the individual committee member to vote his/her best
judgement in evaluating any individual record.
The Committee thanked Arvin for his rigorous examination of this