Broad-billed Hummingbird Photo © Ganesh Jayaraman
CUBS Bird Guide

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Regional Species

A strikingly colorful bird, the Broad-billed Hummingbird reaches the northern limit of its range in southeastern Arizona. Broad-billed Hummingbirds that nest in Arizona are migratory; populations in Mexico are resident year-round in their breeding range.

Range

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Habitat

Arid scrub, open deciduous forest, semi-desert and other open situations in arid habitats.

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Food

It feeds on nectar by hovering at flowers, and insects by hawking in mid-air

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Behavior

It occurs from the southwestern United States, where birds are summer visitors, south through western Mexico to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Its breeding is timed to coincide with the peak flowering season in a given area.

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Nesting

The female builds a nest in a protected location in a shrub or tree. Females lay two white eggs.

Appearance

Typical Sound

Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds

© © 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Adult Description

Small hummingbird. Broad, notched tail. Long, red bill with dark tip. Green back. Male with blue throat and green chest. Female with white line over eye, dark ear-patch, and gray underparts.

Similar Species

Juvenile resembles adult female, with buffy fringes on feathers of upperparts.

Plumage Photos

Similar Species

  • Juvenile and adult female Broad-billed Hummingbird closely resembles juvenile and adult female White-eared Hummingbird. Broad-billed Hummingbird's ear patch is grayish, while White-eared's is blackish. Center of Broad-billed's throat is clear gray, while White-eared's throat is spotted.

Did you know?!

  • Like other hummingbirds, the Broad-billed Hummingbird probably consumes about 1.6 to 1.7 times its body weight in nectar each day.
  • The male Broad-billed Hummingbird performs a courtship display, starting by hovering about a foot from the female and then flying in repeated arcs, like a pendulum.