ABSTRACT

We documented a potential interspecies feeding event between 2 species of hummingbirds in southeastern Mexico in 2019. We used morphological and behavioral traits to identify the hummingbirds as an adult female White-bellied Emerald (Chlorestes candida) and a juvenile Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl). We ruled out the possibility of hybridization due to a lack of intermediate traits in the juvenile hummingbird, which allowed for the speculation of 4 interspecies behavioral mechanisms: brood parasitism, courtship feeding, simultaneous multiple nesting, or alloparental care of young. Due to the complexity of the first 3 mechanisms and lack of documented evidence of the behaviors between the 2 species of hummingbirds, the most likely mechanism to explain the observed behavior is alloparental care of young by an inexperienced adult female White-bellied Emerald.

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