Broad-tailed Hummingbird


Broad-tailed Hummingbird

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The broad-tailed hummingbird, Selasphorus platycercus, is a medium-sized hummingbird, nearly four inches in length. Male and female both have iridescent green backs and crowns and a white breast. The male has a gourget (throat patch) that shines with a brilliant red iridescence. The female is much duller with rust-colored, mottled flanks and underside. Female’s tail feathers are tipped with a band of white. In flight the wings produce a distinct trilling noise specific to this species.

The summer range of the broad-tailed hummingbird extends across mountain forests and meadows throughout the western United States and central Mexico. At summer’s end they migrate and may overwinter as far south as Guatemala.

Nests are small cup of plant fibers woven together and bound to a branch with collected spider webs. The female lays two plain white eggs, that she alone will incubate for 16 days. Young broad-tailed hummingbirds fledge (leave the nest) about 23 days after hatching.

Aside from the typical hummingbird diet of nectar and insects found at flower blossoms, the broad-tailed hummingbird will also actively hunt insects in flight and on foliage.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Conservation status: Least concern
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Trochiliformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Selasphorus
Species: S. platycercus
Binomial name 

Selasphorus platycercus
(Swainson, 1827)


This Broad-tail was seen in the Davis Mountains in Texas

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