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Rufous-tailed Hummingbird - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Stanley Jones
Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica, November 2011
Amazilia tzacatl


8–11 cm (3-4¼ in)

  • Green throat (edged whitish in the female)
  • Crown, back and flanks are green with golden tints
  • Pale grey belly
  • Rufous vent and rump
  • Rufous, slightly forked tail, with a dusky tip
  • Black-tipped red bill is almost straight

Similar species

Photo by obasanmi
Sierra Llorona, Panama, March 2008

Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Cinnamon Hummingbird, and Berylline Hummingbird


Central America: Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama
South America: Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru



Photo by Max13
Costa Rica, December 2017

Five subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • A. t. tzacatl:
  • A. t. fuscicaudata:
  • A. t. brehmi:
  • A. t. jucunda:
  • A. t. handleyi (Escudo):
  • Isla Escudo de Veraguas (off Caribbean coast of north-western Panama)

The last of these is sometimes considered a full species Escudo Hummingbird (Amazilia handleyi); this is larger and darker than mainland birds.


Tropical dry and rain forest, degraded subtropical montane forest up to 1850 m, open country, river banks, woodland, scrub, forest edge, coffee plantations and gardens .


Sometimes engages in extreme fights.


The female builds a compact cup nest from plant-fibre and dead leaves 1-6 m high on a thin horizontal twig. The 2 white eggs are incubated solely by the female for 15-19 days, and fledging after 20-26.


The diet includes nectar, taken from a variety of flowers, and it also takes small insects.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Wikipedia
  4. BF Member observations
  5. Birdforum photo with description of fighting behavior

Recommended Citation

External Links

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