Rufous Hummingbird

General description.

The Rufous Hummingbird, like his counterparts, the Ruby-throated and Black-chinned, sparkles like jewels at the feeder, bringing joy and wonderment at his gauze wings beating over 200 beats a second. The Rufous is a Western bird, migrating north through the Pacific States and returning via the mountains.

Female appearance.

The female Rufous Hummingbird is almost as colorful as her mate, but green above with rufous tinges on rump and flanks.

Flight pattern.


Breeding habits.

Breeds from Alaska and British Columbia and south to Washington, Oregon, western Montana, Idaho and northern California.

Calls or song.

Listen for a high-pitched "zeee" competing with the alto "zeee" of his wings.

Population and distribution.

Mountain meadows and edges of forests during migration and winter. Often visits feeding stations, hibiscus and salvia flowers in gardens. Winters in Mexico.

Nesting habits.

2 tiny white eggs in a nest of lichen and plant down, secured to a horizontal tree limb.
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