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Broad-tailed Hummingbird - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by colorob
Littleton, Colorado, USA, August 2005
Selasphorus platycercus



  • Green upperparts
  • White underparts
  • Buff and green flanks
  • Bill is almost straight


  • Red throat
  • Outer primary is attenuated which gives a buzz in the flying bird
Photo © by nitiman
Alto, New Mexico, USA, April 2007


  • White throat speckled with iridescent green or bronze

Similar species

Not that similar if seen well, but Black-chinned Hummingbird is often occurring in the same areas. Black-chin is more frequently lifting its tail when feeding but Broad-tailed can do that as well. The color of the gorget in the male is very different, and tail is longer in Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

To distinguish from Ruby-throated Hummingbird, note the white between the eye and the bill on the male and the rusty flanks on the female. Listen when the male flies - it makes a whistling sound unlike the humming of a Ruby-throat.


Southwestern US to Mexico and Guatemala.

Casual vagrant to Kansas.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Mountain meadows and forests , pine-oak woodland, arid shrubland observed at 7500 feet. Readily visits garden feeders, even in urban areas.



The nest is cup-shaped and secured to a branch by spiders' webs. The 2 white eggs are incubated by the female for 16 days. The young fledge 23 days later.


The diet includes nectar and insects.


Young Male
Photo © by vansutherland
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, August 2003

The wings of the male make a high-pitched whistling noise.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Wikipedia
  3. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

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