English and Scientific names:

Green-breasted Mango (Anthracothorax prevostii)

 I do not have detailed descr. of BTMA, GTMA

Number of individuals: 

1 imm/fem-type- prob. imm male. more on elimination in similar species

Locality: LOUISIANA: 



Specific Locality:

Steve and Kathy Johnson- Congratulations to Kathy for finding a first Louisiana stare record!

Brownstone rd.
Greenwood La.

Date(s) when observed:


Time(s) of day when observed:  

First times/observances were by Kathy Johnson, or also with Pat Lonnecker, Shirley Huss= 12 pm-first sighting by Kathy Johnson at left NE side of house) feeder, 12:09 left feeder, 1:34 pm left feeder, 1:45 pm right (SE side of house) feeder, 2:06 pm left feeder, JT, RS, VL, and myself arrived at 2:29 pm, began looking out window around 2:35, first sighting at 2:39 pm, at left feeder, 2:45 pm brief flyby, 2:59 pm at left feeder, 3:16 pm at right SE side of house feeder, 3:17 pm left feeder, 3:32 pm at left feeder, 3:34 pm flyby S to N just beyond patio, 3:51 pm left feeder, 3:54 pm left feeder, flyby, veered off. 3:55 pm perched on dead branch elm tree closest to/just beyond right feeder, then feeder,4:08 pm flyby, 4:18 pm left feeder, longish visit, good hover. 4:39 pm perched in elm 4:45 pm "tsick"-call heard-only, 4:54 pm left feeder, 5:24 pm Left and right feeder, then leaves lowish toward willow to N/NE across pond inlet, 5:54 pm right feed!
 er, 6:07 pm elm tree, 6:12 pm left feeder, 6:14 pm elm tree, 7:50 pm possible flyby off patio by Velda Nielsen  

Reporting observer and address:

Terry Davis
Bossier City, La.

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):

Kathy Johnson (The Finder), Jeff Trahan, Rosemary Seidler, Vicky LeFevers, Velda Nielsen, Paul Dickson, Hubert and Pat Hervey, Mac and Marilyn Hardy, Jon Dillon, Charlie Lyon  

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)

Pat Lonnecker, Shirley Huss who arrived shorly before us and saw the bird. They were leaving as we (JT,RS,VL, and I) arrived

Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

Bird was viewed mostly with observers facing to NE or SE with sun slightly to W by the time I had arrived- viewing was exceptional while I was there between 2:39 pm to 4 pm, with small-leaved tree species nearby filtering out, making very bright light softer, good for observation. Purple in tail not as visible during latest observances. 

Optical equipment: 

Brunton eterna 11X45 binoculars in used but excellent optical condition

Distance to bird(s): 

ranging from 10-15 feet (near feeders/house) at closest to 60 yds (latter figured when observed flying low to NE toward large black willow or adjacent shrubby wax myrtle.

Duration of observation:

All observations were somewhat brief, approx 5-15 seconds while bird was at feeder, flybys for fraction of to one second, observed longest while sitting on outer tips of dead branches of large elm for 1-2 minutes on several occasions, at bad light angle on high perch


The area would be considered upland, slightly hilly to flatwoods. The immediate habitat where seen near the house would be considered well-kept/short-mowed, open, orchard-like with scattered large pines, red-type and water or willow oaks, and a large elm, among others. The bird when noted during all observations was on E side and when not at feeders was associating almost entirely with a large elm, water oak, 1-2 red-type oaks and a clump on NE side of pond with a large black willow and bushy wax myrtle. A large open, 7 acre and irregular-shaped pond lies to the E with narrower fingers/coves wrapping around into both N and S sides of the property. The pond does not have emergent vegetation except at edges where lined with the prickly, flowering blue waterleaf and scattered shorter to taller grasses. It is fairly short-grassed or open on all edges except the SW side where edged immediately with mature woods of pine deciduous mix and buttonbush in water near edges. On E and S sides it is also maturely wooded past a narrow mowed area. Pine is the predominate tree of most immediately surrounding woods. A brushy/grassy field, open with scattered larger trees and another home lies to the N and NE respectively. The W side of the house/property not far past N/S driveway is also maturely wooded with somewhat open and scattered understory but slightly thicker edge. 

Behavior of bird: 

The bird was first observed at the left (NE) feeder at 2:39 pm and quickly photo'd by Jeff Trahan. The very large size, dark stripe down belly, and deep but bright iridescent purple tail with dark and white tipped outer rectrices, and somewhat exaggerated tail-pumping and fanning action was immediately noted during the observation. The bird was generally only seen at feeders for approx. 3 to 15 seconds at the most and fed while hovering. Usually it would also hover for a second or more after backing away from feeder port and facing the observers, at which point the tail action was occasional, but much less noted. it also would hover briefly before approaching a feeder port. It invariably fed on ports on back side of feeders facing observers. It was observed chasing a fem.-type RTHU on a couple of occasions while being observed from inside. However, I noted it was actually being chased more frequently by the RTHU during my outside patio-observance stints. Along with others, I also noted this once or twice from inside the house. My point being that it was probably chased more by other hummers than it chased them, although this didn't seem initially true. The bird was observed perched on low dead twigs at 4-5' of a drooping/broken elm branch just to S of right (SE feeder) facing N toward the feeder, briefly once with back facing observers and facing to S. On one occasion after GBMA landed on this limb, a fem.-type RTHU which had previously given chase landed a foot or so above it and was craning down toward it tryingto reach it, pecking toward it. It also performed quick bouts of preening/stretching/fanning tail when sitting on this branch. It frequently landed and sat with bill slightly open. Nearly every time the bird would leave the feeders it would hover briefly or immediately rise high into surrounding oaks or the large elm. It also perched 2-3 times (once for 1+ minutes)on the twigs of a branch facing E but higher at 16-18 feet in the elm. To my knowledge, this was also the only tree it was observed perching in Most of my observations were made from inside the house. While outside, with Charlie Lyon, we heard a somewhat low, level to slightly ascending and smacked "tsick” call. The bird was heard/observed while giving 3-4 of these calls after it arrived shortly after hearing the first call. Calls, never given closely, were separated by 3 or so seconds at fastest repetition. When close by, the calls quality seemes somewhat dry/sibilant at beginning and slightly tonal, almost liquid/metallic and harder ending.


First, Congratulations to Kathy Johnson on the discovery of the Green-breasted Mango- a 1st La. state record for the species!! I was excited to be able to offer a supporting role in determining the identity of the bird based on her excellent descriptions over the phone shortly after. However, I feel feel sure that she would have shortly come to this conclusion shortly thereafter- especially with the help of long time birders Pat Lonnecker and Shirley Huss who arrived not long after. A big thank you also to Pat Lonnecker who 1st informed me.
 Several years back Kathy found and identified a "gray-headed" Junco hyemalis caniceps. John McBride and I arrived there later after being notified by Mac Hardy and confirmed the identification with slightly distant but identifiable photos.
 On 08-20-2009, Pat lonnecker called me sometime between 12:30 pm and 1. She said that her friend, Kathy Johnson has a very large hummingbird with "some” dark below and a large, curved bill. I told Pat that it sounds quite like GBMA by the bill description, and if it was would most likely be an imm./fem-type but I needed to find out more. I called Kathy. I asked about size if it looks slightly larger or dwarfs the other hummers at the feeder. She said it looked huge. I asked if the bird was all dark below, and was the bill thinnish. She said no, but that it was dark down the center of throat/chest which sounded great. The word buff came up in her description. I asked her if the bill was reddish. She said no. Listening more to her description, the buff was at sides of throat, possibly upper breast at the edge of the greenish neck, and was whitish between there and the dark center stripe which was getting better. I told her to google images of GBMA, also at same time telling her to look for fem./immature pics. She said no on 1st pic she looked at-of an adm but almost immediately said I've got it when looking at the next pic of fem./imm. She also said the tail looked large and dark with notable white spots on outer tail-feathers.  


Binocular observances. When first observing the bird, the very large size, the irregular, slightly jagged dark stripe at center of breast and belly, + deep, but bright iridescent violet-purple (often looking deep bright purple) tail with dark broad terminal band and large whitish outer spots were noted. I did not see the bill or head well at first visit. Next visit I observed the head and bill. The bill appeared quite long, thick and decurved. The dark eye appeared large. This was possibly an effect of it being open-faced, with no surrounding marks. I noted that the head and crown appeared grayish during bin looks. The back appeared a very blue-tinted green for the most part but was briefly seen through bins. The center throat to belly stripe, during many views and depending on angle, appeared very dark, almost blackish, occasionally bluish during observations. The really good iridescence shine of deep greenish-blue (moreso than blue-green) of this center streak was only briefly seen with bins, but the tail was almost always showing the irid. deep purple. The center tailfeathers were never seen thru bins, at least by myself during observations. The chin during all but a very few observances looked dark as well in available light/angle of observance- as if center stripe continued onto chin. The cinnamon-orange stripe at side of neck bordering white below was very notable at sides of neck but appeared to be mostly absent below at sides of breast in views thru bins. The pale, whitish between the dark center stripe and cinnamon or greenish outer was always visible. The greenish color at sides of neck below, also broadening, jagged at belly, then coming to a point in lower belly were also visible. I could not discern well, but occasionally could notice the greenish color to underwing coverts. The undertail coverts appeared to be whitish to grizzled darker in bin views.


Photo analysis- Looking at Jeff and Charlie's awesome photos on 1st day and scattered times since-
 The only thing that the photos do not show well is that deep but bright iridescent purple color which was seen well at most feeder or brief visits thru bins. A few of bird near feeder facing observers hint at this color, others show more of a rufescent-violet tinge. They show clearly that, 2-5 are broadly terminally dark, R3-5 are heavily tipped white, with more white on each tip from inner to outer. R2 appears to show a slight paler crescent at very tip in at least one photo. The center rectrices, never seen by myself during bin views, show up being mostly brownish-yellow with darker center shaft and flecked darker, especially closest to tips from below. While looking at Charlie's photos on viewfinder on 20th- when smaller- had one shot of R1s where they showed a very yellowish coloration. One photo also shows an uppertail shot of a central rectrix showing it as bright iridescent greenish blue, or is this a covert feather out of place?- However, the coloration of sliver o!
 f feather next to it appears more like undertail center rectrice shots They also show yellow-greenish flecking in forecrown and auriculars. Back blue-green, but shows bronze-green spot/area on sides of back adjacent secondaries in photo with wings open. The jagged center breast streak shows clearly as greenish-blue on several pics, also more blackish blue at top nearest chin/upperthroat. it also shows clearly that the chin is pale/whitish and bordered at edges by cinnamon. The cinnamon also shows in narrow areas spots at sides of breast and belly. 


the call was somewhat low. To me the calls of nearby RTHU were louder and certainly more frequent. The call was never repeated more than once every 3 or so seconds. The calls were fairly longish, smacked, "tsick"-calls. They were mostly level, faintly ascending, dryish-sibilant at beginning, slightly metallic, faintly liquid quality at harder end. Sounded slightly like Stokes western i-pod version of MAHU call- over I-main-go speaker box.

Similar species:

HYF GBMA-tail pattern not right- definitely too bright in our bird. (but fems. can have male traits?)

ADF GBMA-much cinnamon in our bird, tail pattern too bright (although according to writings, fem. can show male-like markings. I do not know if they are saying females can look like adm., or if ADF can look more like HYM?


Black-throated Mango- A nigricollis. I have no study currently handy of BTMA. One picture on Page 156 of Nat Geo/Alderfer Complete Birds of The World seems to hint at the wierd brownish-yellow grizzled center tailfeathers.

Green-throated Mango- nothing available.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Excellent photos were obtained by both Jeff Trahan and Charlie Lyon

Previous experience with this species: 

None whatsoever for myself, other than brief studies of various mangos some years ago, and occasional studies of GBMA to be ready for its occurence

Identification aids:

Brief studies were made today- 08-27-09- of National Geographic- newest edition (5th?),
Sherry Williamsons' book, and Nat Geo Complete Birds of the World.

This description is written from: 

Copious notes were made on 08-20-09 Other descriptions by referring to Jeff, Charlies photos in last week or so, also brief notes from material studied today.

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 


Positive, barring any possibility of the bird being BTMA or GTMA

Date and time: 

08-27-2009 9:05