Name root – Stellula meaning “little star”; calliope after the Greek word meaning “the muse responsible for epic poetry”.
Distribution – Breeds in montane habitats from central British Columbia and Alberta south through portions of Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California to northern Baja California east to western Montana, Wyoming and Utah. Winters south of the U. S. in central Mexico from Sinaloa south to Oaxaca and east to Distrito Federal. Rare to accidental in winter in states along the central Gulf Coast of the U. S.
Texas – Accidental in spring primarily in the Trans-Pecos region. Fall migrant through western portions of the State. An irruptive species that can be abundant some years and virtually absent others. Southbound birds start early and arrive in west Texas in July; most adult males are south of Texas by early September with females and juveniles still passing through as late as early October. Accidental in winter along the Gulf Coast. First Texas record; specimen, unknown date and month in 1853 from El Paso, El Paso County by J. H. Clark.
Habitat – Montane woodlands and open meadows. During migration in a variety of habitats from pine-oak woodlands to desert scrub.