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Broad-Tailed Hummingbird

Selasphorus platycercus

Description:

Small hummingbird with red throat and green and emerald body.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Liam
Liam 9 years ago
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Selasphorus platycercus Broad-tailed Hummingbird


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29 Comments (1–25)

YukoChartraw
YukoChartraw 9 years ago

Beautiful capture!

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Thank you again Bayucca!

bayucca
bayucca 9 years ago

Great capture!!

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 9 years ago

You all rock my socks off! I think it is a broad-tailed humming bird after I researched it a little more! Thank you all so very much! Gotta love team work!

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

I agree it is Broad tailed. The straight beak rules out the possibility of Ruby which has a slightly bent beak.

RyanWarner
RyanWarner 9 years ago

With the additional photos I feel I was wrong with the Black-Chinned, and I don't think Ruby is right either. Has to be Broad-Tailed!

Liam
Liam 9 years ago

Color on the flanks make it an easy Selasphorus, the species in this genus found in your area are: Rufous, Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Calliope. Only Rufous and Broad-tailed have gorgets this dark, and the flanks aren't orange enough for Rufous.

Nice series!

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 9 years ago

I agree Willie. I am leaning toward Ruby or Broad-tail!

williefromwi
williefromwi 9 years ago

I think I need to sleep on it, Emily. I still lean toward Ruby, however, and will need to refresh myself with the broad tail more. I do believe the broad tail are slightly bigger then the Ruby, and these do not appear to be all that large. I am rather confident they are not black chinned however, now that I see the rest of your photos.

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 9 years ago

I found this site: http://www.hummingbirds.net/broadtailed....

What about the broad-Tail?

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Hi Emma, I just did a google search for Allen's and I don't believe these are them. These guys had more of a gray overall tone underneath their color. Although the picture of the female I posted does have some rufous coloring...

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

Hummingbirds in Colorado
Deborah Anderson
Deborah Anderson, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Apr 27, 2007 "Share your voice on Yahoo! websites. Start Here."

More:
Hummingbirds
Humming Bird

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When thoughts of the great state of Colorado, and the wildlife that may be encountered there, come to mind, I am sure that most people immediately think of bighorn sheep or deer. I am almost sure that the majority of people would never think about hummingbirds that may be seen here. But, like most states throughout the nation, these tiny winged birds visit Colorado. In fact, there are at least ten species of hummingbirds that frequently visit Colorado in the summer. These are Anna's, Black-chinned, Blue-throated, Broad-billed, Broad-tailed, Calliope, Green Violet-eared, Magnificent, Ruby-throated, Rufous and White-eared. Four of these species, Black-chinned, Broad-billed, Calliope and Rufous are commonly seen in Colorado and two of these species, the Broad-billed and Black-chinned nest in Colorado.

Anna's Hummingbird, one of the least seen hummingbirds in Colorado, is best identified by its song, as most hummingbirds do not have a song. Other than its song, this hummingbird can be identified by its metallic green feathers that cover the back of the male, along with the gray feathers on the breast and dark red feathers on its throat and crown. The female Anna's Hummingbird has green feathers on its back, but they are not as brilliant as the metallic feathers covering the back of the male. The female also has lighter gray colored feathers covering its breast as well as white feathers on its breast with red spots. The female also has white tips on its tail feathers.

The Black-chinned Hummingbird, which is one of the species that nests in the Southwest corner of Colorado, is often first seen in at the end of May. The male of this species has black feathers that cover his throat, along with purple feathers that create a throat band. It also has a white collar. Green feathers cover the back, crown and breast as well. The female is somewhat larger than the male and has white feathers covering her breast and throat. The throat also has black spots on it. There are also buff feathers that cover the female's sides with white tips. Like the male, the female has green feathers covering its crown and back.

The Blue-throated Hummingbird is one of the largest species of hummingbirds seen in Colorado, with males weighing in at 8.4g and females weighing in at 6.8g. The male Blue-throated hummingbird gets its name from the bright blue feathers that line its throat. It also has dark gray feathers covering its breast, dark blue tail feathers with white tips, white stripes above its eye as well as below its eye and green feathers all down its back and covering its crown. The female Blue-throated hummingbird is marked much like the male with dark gray feathers covering its breast, green feathers covering its crown and its back and white tips on blue tail feathers. The female also has the white stripes above and below its eyes like the male.

The Broad-billed Hummingbird is another of the least common hummingbirds seen in Colorado. This species of hummingbird is identified by the bright colors of the male along with the orange-red with black tip bills that both species have. The male has bright metallic blue feathers covering his throat along with dark green feathers that cover his crown, breast and back. The female has gray feathers covering her breast and throat, green feathers that cover her crown and back and white tips on her tail feathers.

The Broad-tailed Hummingbird is one of two species of hummingbirds that nest in Colorado. This species of hummingbird usually arrives in Colorado in mid-April and will nest in the foothills and mountain forests, close to a water supply. One distinguishing feature of this hummingbird is the sound the male's feathers make when his wings are moving. The female does not make a sound. The male of this species are brilliantly marked with metallic green feathers on their backs and crowns, white feathers on their breasts, and rose-colored feathers covering their throats. The males' tail feathers are also rounded. The females of this species have green feathers covering their crowns and backs, but these feathers are not metallic as are the males. They also have white feathers on their throats with black spots. The females also have rust colored feathers located on their sides and they have green, rust and black tail feathers with white tips.

The Calliope Hummingbird, which is one of the four species of hummingbirds commonly seen in Colorado, is also one of the smaller species with males weighing about 2.5g and females weighing a little more, about 2.83g. The white feathers that cover their throats and the purple feathers within these white feathers that easily create a "whiskered" look identify males of this species. These males also have metallic green feathers covering their crowns and backs. The female Calliope Hummingbird also has green feathers covering her crown and back, but this green is duller than the metallic found on the males. She also has white feathers covering her throat along with dark feathers creating streaks instead of whiskers. The female will also have buff colored feathers on its sides and its tail has white tips on the corners.

The Green-violet Eared Humming bird is occasionally seen migrating through Colorado, heading south. This hummingbird is identified by the feathers on its blue throat and breast that are bright pale and create a glitter effect as well as fringe. Its name comes from the violet patch located under its eye and creates a triangle from the eye to the neck. The Green-violet Eared Hummingbird also has a black band on its tail feathers that is located toward the end of its yellow-tipped tail feathers. The male of this species has black feet and a black bill. The female looks very similar to the male with the exception of her glittering green feathers being only on her throat and none on her breast.

The Magnificent Hummingbird is another species that is occasionally seen in Colorado. This hummingbird is second largest in the United States. The Blue-throated is the only one larger. The male Magnificent Hummingbird will weigh about 7.7g and has very colorful feathers covering its body. On its back are dark green feathers, on its forehead and crown there are purple feathers, on its throat are metallic green feathers and it has black feathers covering its breast. The female Magnificent Hummingbird is also large, usually weighing about 6.4g. However, the females are not near as colorful as the males with their olive green feathers covering their crown and back, their gray feathers covering their breast and throat and pearl-gray tipped tail feathers.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is another species found in Colorado. This species of hummingbird is noticeable by the males' ruby red feathers covering its throat and forked tail. The male also has emerald green feathers covering its back. The female Ruby-throated hummingbird does not have a ruby-colored throat at all. The throat of the female is covered in white feathers just like its breast. The female also has a rounded tail with white-tipped tail feathers and a longer bill than the male. However, it does have an emerald colored back like the male.

The Rufous Hummingbird is found in every state and Colorado is no exception. The Rufous Hummingbird travels through Colorado in July and August on its southward journey for the up coming winter. This hummingbird is identified by the rufous color found predominantly all over its body, especially on the crown, tail and sides of the male. On the female, the rufous colored feathers are found on the sides and on the base of its tail feathers. The male will also have bright orange-red feathers covering its throat and white feathers on its breast while the female will have green feathers on its back and crown, a white breast and a throat that is streaked.

The White-eared Hummingbird is among the least commonly seen hummingbirds in Colorado. This species of hummingbirds get their name from the white feathers, found on both males and females that create ear stripes. Of the two sexes, the male is more colorful with emerald green feathers on its crown and back while the female has the more drab green feathers in the same locations. The male also has purple feathers on its crown, iridescent blue-green feathers on its chin while it's female will have white feathers on her breast, and her sides are white with green streaks. Besides the white ear stripes the male and female share and get their name from, they also have a black tipped, red bill.

Hummingbirds in Colorado

When thoughts of the great state of Colorado, and the wildlife that may be encountered there, come to mind, I am sure that most people immediately think of bighorn sheep or deer. I am almost sure that the majority of people would never think about hummingbirds that may be seen here. But, like most states throughout the nation, these tiny winged birds visit Colorado. In fact, there are at least ten species of hummingbirds that frequently visit Colorado in the summer. These are Anna's, Black-chinned, Blue-throated, Broad-billed, Broad-tailed, Calliope, Green Violet-eared, Magnificent, Ruby-throated, Rufous and White-eared. Four of these species, Black-chinned, Broad-billed, Calliope and Rufous are commonly seen in Colorado and two of these species, the Broad-billed and Black-chinned nest in Colorado.

Anna's Hummingbird, one of the least seen hummingbirds in Colorado, is best identified by its song, as most hummingbirds do not have a song. Other than its song, this hummingbird can be identified by its metallic green feathers that cover the back of the male, along with the gray feathers on the breast and dark red feathers on its throat and crown. The female Anna's Hummingbird has green feathers on its back, but they are not as brilliant as the metallic feathers covering the back of the male. The female also has lighter gray colored feathers covering its breast as well as white feathers on its breast with red spots. The female also has white tips on its tail feathers.

The Black-chinned Hummingbird, which is one of the species that nests in the Southwest corner of Colorado, is often first seen in at the end of May. The male of this species has black feathers that cover his throat, along with purple feathers that create a throat band. It also has a white collar. Green feathers cover the back, crown and breast as well. The female is somewhat larger than the male and has white feathers covering her breast and throat. The throat also has black spots on it. There are also buff feathers that cover the female's sides with white tips. Like the male, the female has green feathers covering its crown and back.

The Blue-throated Hummingbird is one of the largest species of hummingbirds seen in Colorado, with males weighing in at 8.4g and females weighing in at 6.8g. The male Blue-throated hummingbird gets its name from the bright blue feathers that line its throat. It also has dark gray feathers covering its breast, dark blue tail feathers with white tips, white stripes above its eye as well as below its eye and green feathers all down its back and covering its crown. The female Blue-throated hummingbird is marked much like the male with dark gray feathers covering its breast, green feathers covering its crown and its back and white tips on blue tail feathers. The female also has the white stripes above and below its eyes like the male.

The Broad-billed Hummingbird is another of the least common hummingbirds seen in Colorado. This species of hummingbird is identified by the bright colors of the male along with the orange-red with black tip bills that both species have. The male has bright metallic blue feathers covering his throat along with dark green feathers that cover his crown, breast and back. The female has gray feathers covering her breast and throat, green feathers that cover her crown and back and white tips on her tail feathers.

The Broad-tailed Hummingbird is one of two species of hummingbirds that nest in Colorado. This species of hummingbird usually arrives in Colorado in mid-April and will nest in the foothills and mountain forests, close to a water supply. One distinguishing feature of this hummingbird is the sound the male's feathers make when his wings are moving. The female does not make a sound. The male of this species are brilliantly marked with metallic green feathers on their backs and crowns, white feathers on their breasts, and rose-colored feathers covering their throats. The males' tail feathers are also rounded. The females of this species have green feathers covering their crowns and backs, but these feathers are not metallic as are the males. They also have white feathers on their throats with black spots. The females also have rust colored feathers located on their sides and they have green, rust and black tail feathers with white tips.

The Calliope Hummingbird, which is one of the four species of hummingbirds commonly seen in Colorado, is also one of the smaller species with males weighing about 2.5g and females weighing a little more, about 2.83g. The white feathers that cover their throats and the purple feathers within these white feathers that easily create a "whiskered" look identify males of this species. These males also have metallic green feathers covering their crowns and backs. The female Calliope Hummingbird also has green feathers covering her crown and back, but this green is duller than the metallic found on the males. She also has white feathers covering her throat along with dark feathers creating streaks instead of whiskers. The female will also have buff colored feathers on its sides and its tail has white tips on the corners.

The Green-violet Eared Humming bird is occasionally seen migrating through Colorado, heading south. This hummingbird is identified by the feathers on its blue throat and breast that are bright pale and create a glitter effect as well as fringe. Its name comes from the violet patch located under its eye and creates a triangle from the eye to the neck. The Green-violet Eared Hummingbird also has a black band on its tail feathers that is located toward the end of its yellow-tipped tail feathers. The male of this species has black feet and a black bill. The female looks very similar to the male with the exception of her glittering green feathers being only on her throat and none on her breast.

The Magnificent Hummingbird is another species that is occasionally seen in Colorado. This hummingbird is second largest in the United States. The Blue-throated is the only one larger. The male Magnificent Hummingbird will weigh about 7.7g and has very colorful feathers covering its body. On its back are dark green feathers, on its forehead and crown there are purple feathers, on its throat are metallic green feathers and it has black feathers covering its breast. The female Magnificent Hummingbird is also large, usually weighing about 6.4g. However, the females are not near as colorful as the males with their olive green feathers covering their crown and back, their gray feathers covering their breast and throat and pearl-gray tipped tail feathers.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is another species found in Colorado. This species of hummingbird is noticeable by the males' ruby red feathers covering its throat and forked tail. The male also has emerald green feathers covering its back. The female Ruby-throated hummingbird does not have a ruby-colored throat at all. The throat of the female is covered in white feathers just like its breast. The female also has a rounded tail with white-tipped tail feathers and a longer bill than the male. However, it does have an emerald colored back like the male.

The Rufous Hummingbird is found in every state and Colorado is no exception. The Rufous Hummingbird travels through Colorado in July and August on its southward journey for the up coming winter. This hummingbird is identified by the rufous color found predominantly all over its body, especially on the crown, tail and sides of the male. On the female, the rufous colored feathers are found on the sides and on the base of its tail feathers. The male will also have bright orange-red feathers covering its throat and white feathers on its breast while the female will have green feathers on its back and crown, a white breast and a throat that is streaked.

The White-eared Hummingbird is among the least commonly seen hummingbirds in Colorado. This species of hummingbirds get their name from the white feathers, found on both males and females that create ear stripes. Of the two sexes, the male is more colorful with emerald green feathers on its crown and back while the female has the more drab green feathers in the same locations. The male also has purple feathers on its crown, iridescent blue-green feathers on its chin while it's female will have white feathers on her breast, and her sides are white with green streaks. Besides the white ear stripes the male and female share and get their name from, they also have a black tipped, red bill.

williefromwi
williefromwi 9 years ago

Coloring of this bird leads me to believe even more strongly that this is a misplaced Ruby-throated hummingbird. It is not an Allen's, as the chest colors are not even close to an Allen's. A bit out of its normal territory, but not out of the realm to be spotted in Colorado.

williefromwi
williefromwi 9 years ago

RUBY

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

Emily,because of the rufous ,any possibility of an Allen's Hummingbird at all?

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Just added a few more photos! Thank you Willie for your photos as reference. The last two are very interesting how the sheen of the feathers change!

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

I agree with Willie. I would lean more towards Ruby than black chinned.

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Thanks all for the ID help! I am torn between the two myself. He definitely had a bright ruby bib. I will post additional photos to see if that helps you all ID. They are just not as good as the first photo! ;)

williefromwi
williefromwi 9 years ago

Ryan, the Ruby-throated hummingbirds also have the white behind their eye. I can refer you back to my post below. I see more that would lead me to say Ruby then Black chinned. The black chinned has an iridescent purple throat, and black chin. This photo appears more reddish ( ruby). I wish we had a photo from a different angle. Although Ruby-throated hummers are not often seen in Colorado, they are seen often enough, plus this has been an odd year with spottings of birds in places they normally are not seen. My American Avocets in Milwaukee being a prime example. 34 of them dropping in for a week this spring. Peterson's states they are seldom seen east of the Mississippi. Just a thought, you may be right, but the photo leaves me to with doubt.

RyanWarner
RyanWarner 9 years ago

Also the mandible looks very slender and long like I would expect from a Black-Chinned.

RyanWarner
RyanWarner 9 years ago

Willie, the reason I went with black over ruby is location and the small white spot behind the eye. However, I do agree it's throat is darker then you would expect for a Black-Chinned.

Maria dB
Maria dB 9 years ago

wonderful shot!

williefromwi
williefromwi 9 years ago

I am not sure this is a black-chinned hummingbird. I suspect its throat is dark due to lack of direct lighting to its throat. Please take a look at the last two photos in my series of the ruby-throated hummingbird. It shows a male with the ruby throat and then the same male turned slightly with a black throat. Same bird different angle. http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/114...

RyanWarner
RyanWarner 9 years ago

Excellent capture of a make black-chinned!

EmilyMarino
Spotted by
EmilyMarino

Colorado, USA

Spotted on Jul 7, 2012
Submitted on Jul 31, 2012

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