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Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Selasphorus platycercus ORDER: APODIFORMES FAMILY: TROCHILIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A medium-sized hummingbird of subalpine meadows, the Broad-tailed Hummingbird ranges across the south-central Rockies in summer, with most returning to Mexico and Central America during the colder months. Males make a loud trilling noise with their wingtips and perform spectacular aerial displays that make them hard to miss. To survive the cold nights in their high-elevation habitats, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds can enter torpor, slowing their heart rate, and dropping their body temperature.

Appearance

Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds
Typical Voice

Adult Description

Small bird; medium-sized hummingbird. Shiny green upperparts. Adult male has rose-red throat. Adult female has white throat speckled with iridescent green or bronze.

Immature Description

Resembles adult female, with more spotting on throat.

Range Map Help

Broad-tailed Hummingbird Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

  • Male

    Broad-tailed Hummingbird

    Male
    • © MMEastman, Davis Mountains, Texas, July 2013
  • Male

    Broad-tailed Hummingbird

    Male
    • © MMEastman, Davis Mountains, Texas, September 2013
  • Female/Immature

    Broad-tailed Hummingbird

    Female/Immature
  • Female/Immature

    Broad-tailed Hummingbird

    Female/Immature

Similar Species

Similar Species

Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird has plumage like Allen's and Rufous hummingbirds, but has a longer, broader tail. Adult male Ruby-throated Hummingbird has redder throat, with black, not white chin.

Find This Bird

Look out for Broad-tailed Hummingbirds at feeders. Listen for the male's loud wing trills as he guards territory around a choice feeder spot.

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