This is a common to abundant bird of open country, river banks, coffee plantations and gardens up to 1850 m, and also occurs in scrub at woodland edges and clearings.
The adult Rufous-tailed Hummingbird is 10cm long and weighs 5.2 g. It has has mostly shiny green body plumage, apart from a greyish belly and rufous tail. The sexes are similar, but males have a mainly red bill, and females and young birds have a mainly black bill. Immatures also have rufous fringes to the head plumage. The call is a lowchut, and the male’s song is a whistled tse we ts’ we or tse tse wip tseek tse.
The female Rufous-tailed Hummingbird is entirely responsible for nest building and incubation. She lays two white eggs in a compact cup nest constructed from plant-fibre and dead leaves 1-6 m high on a thin horizontal twig. Incubation takes 15-19 days, and fledging another 20-26.
The food of this species is nectar, taken from a variety of flowers, including Heliconias and bananas. Like other hummingbirds it also takes small insects as an essential source of protein. Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds are very aggressive, and defend flowers and scrubs in their feeding territories. They are dominant over most other hummingbirds.
Conservation status: Least concern
(De la Llave, 1833)
BirdLife International (2004). Amazilia tzacatl. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa RicaISBN 0-0814-9600-4
Hilty, Birds of Venezuela by, ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird videos on the Internet Bird Collection
Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.