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9 Birds That All End with the Letter M (Photos)

Learn about birds that start with all 26 letters of the alphabet!

This article explores a diverse and random group of birds, with equally diverse habitats and behaviors. While they come from different regions, ranging from Central American forests to the Andean mountains, they have something in common aside from being hummingbirds. All the birds on this list have names that end with the letter M.

1. Blue-throated mountain-gem

Blue throated mountain gem perching
Blue-throated mountain-gem perching | image by Bettina Arrigoni via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Lampornis clemenciae

The Blue-throated mountain-gem is a hummingbird known for its vibrant blue throat, which stands out, especially in males. This bird exhibits a robust size compared to other hummingbirds, featuring a long, straight bill and shimmering green plumage. They are mostly solitary, demonstrating unique behaviors such as territorial aggression towards other hummingbirds near their feeding areas.

Interestingly, these birds are capable of hovering in mid-air by flapping their wings rapidly, a common trait among hummingbirds that allows them to feed on nectar from flowers. Blue-throated mountain-gems are primarily found in the mountainous woodlands and edges of the southwestern United States, especially in Arizona, where they are more commonly observed.

2. Green-breasted mountain-gem

Green-breasted mountain-gem
Green-breasted mountain-gem | image by Dominic Sherony via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Lampornis sybillae

The Green-breasted mountain-gem, found in Central America, especially within the forests of Honduras and Nicaragua, exhibits a more subtle beauty compared to other hummingbirds. Its upper parts are green, blending into a dingy grayish hue below, with distinctive dense green spots adorning its sides and breasts.

This combination of colors gives it a unique appearance in its natural habitat. Known for their agility, these birds are skilled at hovering in mid-air to access nectar, showcasing their flight capabilities. They prefer the dense, humid environments of forests and are often located in elevated regions.

3. Green-throated mountain-gem

Green-throated mountain-gem
Green-throated mountain-gem | image by thibaudaronson via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Lampornis viridipallens

The Green-throated mountain-gem is a colorful hummingbird with a bright green throat, mostly seen in males. They live mainly in Central America, in tropical and subtropical forests. These birds stand out for their shiny feathers and fast wing movements, which let them hover while drinking nectar from flowers. They are also very territorial and agile, often moving quickly from one flower to another.

4. Gray-tailed mountain-gem

Gray-tailed mountain-gem
Gray-tailed mountain-gem | image by Charlie Jackson via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Lampornis cinereicauda

The Gray-tailed mountain-gem is a lesser-known species of hummingbird, notable for its grayish tail that contrasts with a predominantly green plumage. This bird is endemic to the highlands of Central America across North America. Its unique features include a strikingly iridescent throat in males and a more subdued coloration in females.

These hummingbirds exhibit typical hummingbird behaviors such as rapid wing beats for hovering during feeding on nectar and a territorial nature, especially around feeding sites. An interesting fact about the Gray-tailed mountain-gem is its adaptation to cooler mountain climates, where it skillfully maneuvers through dense forests.

5. Purple-throated mountain-gem

Purple-throated mountain-gem
Purple-throated mountain-gem | image by Becky Matsubara via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Lampornis calolaemus

The Purple-throated mountain-gem is a striking hummingbird known for its vivid purple throat, a feature most prominent in males. This species is native to the mountainous regions of Central America. They possess the ability to hover in mid-air thanks to their rapid wing flaps, allowing them to feed on nectar from flowers. These birds are also known for their territorial behavior, often defending their feeding areas aggressively.

6. Horned sungem

horned sungem
Horned sungem | image by agujaceratops via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 4.0

Scientific Name: Heliactin bilophus

The Horned sungem is a small, colorful hummingbird found in Brazil’s savannas and woodlands. It’s easily recognized by its “horns” – two long feathers on its head. Male sungems have bright blue, green, and yellow feathers, while females are less colorful but still have horns. They feed on flower nectar and small insects, flapping their wings rapidly to hover in place. These birds are territorial and males will perform aerial shows to protect their space.

7. Purple-backed sunbeam

Purple-backed sunbeam
Purple-backed sunbeam | image by Carole Turek via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Aglaeactis aliciae

The Purple-backed sunbeam is a rare and beautiful hummingbird species distinguished by its vibrant purple-accented plumage on its back, contrasting with a darker body. This bird is endemic to Peru, specifically found in the high-altitude forests and woodlands of the Andes Mountains. It has a unique adaptation to its cool mountain habitat, including a preference for feeding on the nectar of specific native flowers.

The Purple-backed sunbeam is known for its solitary behavior, often seen alone or in pairs rather than in large groups. One of the most interesting facts about this species is its limited distribution, making it a focus of conservation efforts due to its vulnerability to habitat destruction and climate change.

8. Shining sunbeam

Shining sunbeam
Shining sunbeam | image by Lip Kee via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Aglaeactis cupripennis

The Shining sunbeam is a hummingbird known for its large size and striking coloration, featuring dark-brown feathers with a dazzling lilac-gold iridescence on its lower back and rump. This species stands out for having a shorter bill compared to other hummingbirds, an adaptation suited to its preferred high-elevation habitats. It resides in the semi-arid montane ridges and cloud forests of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, where it contributes to the biodiversity of these regions.

9. White-throated mountain-gem

White-throated mountain-gem
White-throated mountain-gem | image by Dominic Sherony via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Lampornis castaneoventris

The White-throated mountain-gem is a captivating species of hummingbird predominantly found in the cloud forests of Costa Rica and Panama, rather than in the United States. Males boast a striking plumage with iridescent green backs and white throats, while females are distinguished by their more subdued green upperparts and grayish underparts with a hint of white on the throat. Depending on its range, the tail color varies from gray in the western regions to blue in the eastern areas.
This bird is recognized for its unique hovering flight pattern, enabling it to feed on nectar from flowers with precision. Their diet is not limited to nectar; they also consume insects and spiders, providing them with the necessary protein. The White-throated mountain-gem prefers habitats within high-altitude cloud forests, where it plays a crucial role in pollination.

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