I found this copy of H.G.Adams Humming Birds Described and Illustrated in an antiquarian bookshop many years ago. One of its hand-coloured steel engravings is missing but those that remain are exquisite. It was first published in 1856.
Henry Gardiner Adams (1811-1881) wrote several natural history books but not much seems to be known about him, other than that he was a chemist who eventually went bankrupt.
The text describes the species illustrated but the best part of the book is a chapter written by C.W.Webber, who caught and bred hummingbirds in an effort to study their behaviour and diet.
At that time there was a great deal of debate about whether these little birds could survive on nectar alone. Webber and his sister fed spiders to ruby-throated hummingbirds as well as nectar, demonstrating that their diet could be more varied than had been supposed.
You can download the whole book in a variety of formats by clicking here
Azure-crowned and White-eared
Double-crested and Violet-eared
Tufted-necked and Delalande's
Blue-throated and Amethyste
Dupont's and Racket-tailed
Pigmy and Gigantic
Ruff-necked and Mango