- ORDER: Caprimulgiformes
- FAMILY: Trochilidae
The Broad-billed Hummingbird is a beauty in a beautiful family. The male’s vivid red bill, emerald body, and glittering sapphire throat sets it apart from other U.S. hummingbirds. Most of this species’ range lies in Mexico, but it reaches the mountainous canyons of the southwestern U.S. during the breeding season. There it brightens shady, flower-filled ravines and residential gardens, and is a frequent visitor to hummingbird feeders. In courting the female, the male makes a precision flight display likened to a hypnotist’s swinging pocket watch.More ID Info
Find This Bird
The best way to find a Broad-billed Hummingbird is to visit a garden with flowers or hummingbird feeders. In wilder settings, you’ll need to look for patches of nectar-rich flowers across a wide elevational range. From early spring through early summer, checking riparian areas with cottonwoods and sycamores is a good approach: look for partly shaded areas near rivers with an abundance of flowers.
- Colibrí piquiancho común (Spanish)
- Colibri circé (French)
Within their range, Broad-billed Hummingbirds may visit native flowers in gardens. They may also visit hummingbird feeders stocked with sugar water made with 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. Food coloring is not necessary.
- Cool Facts
- A Broad-billed Hummingbird consumes about 1.6 to 1.7 times its body weight in nectar each day.
- In the male Broad-billed Hummingbird’s courtship display, he hovers about a foot from the female and then flies back and forth in repeated arcs, like a pendulum.
- Hummingbirds have tiny feet and legs, and they are incapable of walking or hopping.
- Like many other bird species, Broad-billed Hummingbirds are attracted to the sound of diurnal owls such as Ferruginous and Northern Pygmy-Owls. They often dive at the owl's head, perch nearby, and call. Other birds join in, and the behavior is called "mobbing." It may help alert the smaller birds to the predator’s presence, reinforce for young birds what predators look like, or help drive the predator away.
- The oldest recorded Broad-billed Hummingbird was a male at least 9 years, 1 month old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Arizona.