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Purple Throated Caribs-Hummingbirds at Calabash Cove


The Purple-throated Carib (Eulampis jugularis) – also known as Purple-breasted Carib, Purple Carib, Purple-throated Hummingbird, Garnet Hummingbird or Red-breasted Hummingbird – has been named for its distinctive throat patch (gorget) and chest that have a deep purplish to purplish-red glow given the right light conditions. They occur naturally in the mountainous islands of the Eastern Caribbean.


This striking hummingbird is found on most islands of the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean (off the coast of Venezuela); where it is resident (non-migratory). This species is not found anywhere outside the Lesser Antilles.

It is fairly common to common on St. Bartholomew, Saba, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Grenada.

It is less common on St. Eustatius, St. Christopher, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, and Montserrat.

It is a vagrant on Barbados, Barbuda, Grenada and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

They mostly inhabit mountain forests and clearings typically at elevations of 2,600 – 4,000 ft (800 to 1200 meters). It occurs occasionally at lower elevations – even near sea level up to high up in the mountains in Dominica specifically. However, generally speaking, this species favors mountain forests to lower elevations.

Their habitat includes forests, semi-open areas, clearings, and banana plantations – as long as suitable food sources are available.


The Purple-throated Carib is one of the larger hummingbirds, measuring between 4.3 – 4.7 inches (11 to 12 cm) in length – including beak and tail. The males are slightly larger than the females weighing between 0.37 – 0.42 oz (9 to 12 g) versus the female’s weight of 0.24 – 0.35 oz (7 to 10 g).

Male and female common physical characteristics:

  • The plumage is mostly dark (black) with glossy emerald green wings and tail. The rump (lower back, immediately above the tail) is bluish. The tail is greenish-blue. Both have an iridescent throat and chest that, depending on the direction of the light, appear either brilliant purple, purplish-red, dull purple or black.Their long, black bill is down-curved.

Gender ID / Physical Differences:

  • Male is larger than the female.Males have longer wings than females.The female’s beak is about 20% longer and 30% more curved than the male’s.

Juvenile birds:

  • Immature birds have a shorter bill and scattered brown feathers on the upper plumage. Their throat and chest is orange with red speckles.


One of our guests, captured these amazing snippets of video in the gardens at Calabash Cove.