Green-breasted Mango Anthracothorax prevostii
This species is not included in the Sibley Guide to Birds because at the time that I was planning the book there were only two records north of Mexico. By the time I had finished the book there were 7 records (enough to warrant inclusion, if only I had known sooner!). Records have continued to increase with the total through 2007 up to at least 16 in Texas (through 2006) and single records in NC, WI, and GA. The WI and GA records are both in fall 2007, prompting this summary. Obviously it’s a species that should be watched for all over the US.
A report by John Arvin on identification of Mango Hummingbirds from the minutes of the 1995 Texas Bird Records Committee meeting:
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:
– GBMA – Green-breasted Mango (Anthracothorax prevostii)
– GTMA – Green-throated Mango (A. viridigula)
– 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.
North American Records through 2007:
Texas (1) – 14-23 September 1988. One female or immature was at Brownsville, Cameron Co, TX. Originally accepted only as Mango species (Anthracothorax species) this record was later accepted as a Green-breasted Mango based on geographic probability after a pattern of other documented records developed. the first record of its genus in the United States.
Texas (3) – 22-27 September 1993. One female plumaged bird, in Falfurrias, Brooks Co, TX. 1995 TBRC report
Texas (4) – 18-20 August 1993. One immature was photographed at Santa Ana NWR, Hidalgo Co, TX. 1996 TBRC report
Texas (5) – 17-20 August 1996. Up to two were at San Benito, Cameron Co, TX, 1997 TBRC report
Texas (6) – 3-8, and 21 November to 21 December 1997. One at Corpus Christi, Nueces Co, TX, 1998 TBRC report
Texas (7) – 22-23 May 1999. One at Los Fresnos, Cameron Co, TX. 2000 TBRC report
Texas (8) – 1-8 February 2001. A male at McAllen, Hidalgo Co, TX,
Texas (9) – 10 July-15 August 2001. A female or immature at Pharr, Hidalgo Co, TX,
Texas (10) – 28 September-18 October 2001. A male at McAllen, Hidalgo Co, TX, TBRC 2002 report
Texas (11) – 23 November 2001-12 February 2002. A male at McAllen, Hidalgo Co, TX,
Texas (12) – 9 September- 23 October 2002 The same male returned to McAllen, Hidalgo Co, TX, TBRC 2003 report
Texas (13) – 22 August-5 December 2004. One adult male at McAllen, Hidalgo Co, TX, photos here
Texas (14) – 20 September 2004-25 January 2005. One (or possibly two) adult male(s) at McAllen, Hidalgo Co, TX, photo here and here and here (labeled Pharr, TX?) and here
Texas (15) – 18-20 June 2005. An imm. bird at San Benito, Cameron Co, TBRC 2005 report
Texas (16). 8-9 July 2006. An imm. bird at San Benito, Cameron Co, TX, TBRC 2006 report
TBRC annual reports and minutes can be found here