Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Selasphorus platycercus

Order

APODIFORMES

Family

Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Code 4

BTAH

Code 6

SELPLA

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Broad-tailed Hummingbird has a large range, estimated globally at 700,000 square kilometers. It prefers coniferous forests and edge habitats in the Rocky Mountains of the United States, and in mountainous areas of Mexico and Guatemala. Populations in the United States migrate to Mexico for the winter. This species has an estimated global breeding population of 10 million, and does not appear to be declining at a rate that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. Because of this, the Broad-tailed Hummingbird has a conservation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Medium hummingbird with green upperparts and flanks, iridescent red throat, and gray underparts. Dark green tail may show some rufous. Black bill is long and straight. Black legs, feet. Feeds on nectar, spiders, sap and insects. Direct and hovering flight with very rapid wing beats.

 

Range and Habitat

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Breeds in the mountains from eastern California and Idaho through the Great Basin and Rocky Mountain states to southern Arizona, western Texas and Mexico. Northern birds migrate to Mexico for the winter. Preferred habitats include mountain meadows, pinyon-juniper woodlands, dry ponderosa pines, fir or mixed forests, and canyon vegetation.

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SONGS AND CALLS

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The iBird apps are priced from free to $9.99 and are available for these platforms:

APPLE PHONE OR TABLET

iBird Ultimate Guide to Birds of North America
iBird Pro Guide to Birds of North America

ANDROID PHONE OR TABLET

iBird Pro Guide to Birds of North America


Voice Text

"chip", "chick", "chitter chitter chitter"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Accounts of this species mention that it nests in the same tree or bush year after year, a phenomenon known as philopatry-faithfulness to the previous home area. It will return to the same branch and even build a new nest atop the old one.
  • One female holds the North American age record for hummingbirds, at twelve years old.
  • The Broad-tailed Hummingbird enters torpor, a slowed metabolic state, on cold nights. It maintains a body temperature of about 54° when ambient temperatures fall below 44° F.
  • A group of hummingbirds has many collective nouns, including a “bouquet", "glittering", "hover", "shimmer", and "tune” of hummingbirds.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
GorgetX
A small iridescent patch on the throat of a hummingbird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X