Selasphorus platycercus
(Broad-tailed Hummingbird)

Order: Apodiformes
Order Description: Swifts, Hummingbirds
Family: Trochilidae
Family Description: Hummingbirds

Physical Description:
4-4 1/2" (10-11). Males have metallic green crownClick word for definition and back; metallic rose throat; white belly and breast; green sides; tail wide and rounded, mostly black with inconspicuous red-brown on outer webs of feathers. Female is green above, dull whitish below, with warm buffClick word for definition-tinged sides; green central tail feathers; outer tail feathers rust-colored at base, black in middle, and white on outer tips; chin and throat marked with dark spots.

Similar Species- Anna's Hummingbird, male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Calls a sharp chip. The sound of adult male wings is a unique, loud, musical trilling.

Breeds from north-central Idaho, northern Utah, and portions of Wyoming, south to southeastern California, portions of Mexico and Guatemala, and western Texas. Winters in highlands of northern Mexico south to Guatemala.

Found in open woodlands (especially pinyon/juniper and conifer/aspen associations), brushy hillsides, and montane scrub and thickets. During winter and in migration, also found in open, lowland situations where flowering shrubs are present. May move to higher elevations after breeding.

Consumes nectar, small insects, and spiders.

Usually nests 1-4 m above ground, on low, horizontal branch in tree. Often nests above water. Forages in flowers and foliage. In Arizona study, males defended 2040 m2 (average) breeding territory. In Colorado study, males were observed displaying close to one another in apparent lek. In some areas, species may compete with Rufous Hummingbird for same food resources.

Egg-laying occurs mainly June-July in Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. Females may nest close together, and may occasionally attempt 2 broods. Female incubatesClick word for definition 2 eggs for 16-17 days. Young are tended by female, and fledgeClick word for definition in 21-26 days (18 days has been reported). Females are long-lived and show strong fidelity to breeding site.

Element Code: ABNUC51010
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5,NTMB
National Rank: N5B

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.

Photos by Marcus Martin, and C. Trost,© 1998-9
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.