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Rufous Hummingbird - Female

Selasphorus rufus


This is a smaller-sized hummingbird. Adult females are about 3 inches in length. It has rufous (red/orange) undersides, including breast, flanks, and tail down to a darker black band, as pictured. The neck/gorget is speckled with at times some irregular orange spots.


These birds were spotted on Antelope Island State Park in the Great Salt Lake, Utah. The island is 42 square miles in area and the largest of all islands in the Great Salt Lake. It has grassland on the north, east and south…with a mountainous central area. These birds were on the east side of the island at the Fielding Garr Ranch. This is their summer habitat. They migrate south into Mexico in the winter.


Watching these birds is like watching a military air show and dogfight in a confined space. Their aerobatics, as shown in the above photos, know no bounds. Hummingbirds are the only birds in the world that can fly backward, upside down, hover in place, or straight up or down. They have to consume more than their body weight every day just to maintain their metabolism. The only time they sit still for an extended period is when they sleep at night…going into a catatonic state called Torpor. This is a deep sleep, in which their metabolism lowers to one-fifteenth of normal. Those pictured were all females…not once did I spot a male that day on the island.

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Matthew Eppihimer
Matthew Eppihimer 5 years ago

Love the second picture

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 years ago

Thanks Desmond...they are acrobatic.

Desmond.E.S.O 5 years ago

My favorites are #3 an #4! Great Series Jim!

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 years ago

Thanks, Rob.

triggsturner 5 years ago

Belated congrats Jim. An excellent series and master class in photography.

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 years ago

Thanks Liana, Indes, and Antonio,

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 years ago

Thanks for the SOTD honor, Daniele...very much appreciated!

armadeus.4 5 years ago

Congratulations Jim!!! Very well deserved :)

InêsVeloso 5 years ago

Amazing shots!

Congrats again Jim,on the well deserved SOTD :-)

DanielePralong 5 years ago

Congratulations Jim, this awesome series is our Spotting of the Day!


Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 years ago

Thanks, Madison.

Madison7 5 years ago

So incredible! On average, these guys can flap their wings about 53 beats per second. Your shots really capture how fast these guys move.

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 years ago

Thanks, Liana...these ladies were a challenge to photograph.

armadeus.4 5 years ago

Fantastic! You nailed it Jim! Superb shots. Thank you, thank you for sharing :)

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 years ago

Thanks, Ali!

Ali Hemati Pour
Ali Hemati Pour 5 years ago

perfect 👌🏽

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 years ago

Thanks Felix! These ladies burn more energy in a day than I in a year.

Felix Fleck
Felix Fleck 5 years ago

Incredible series, Jim! It's so difficult to capture these guys in flight.

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 years ago

I appreciate your comment, Antonio.

Wow Jim,awesome series,congrats and thanks for sharing

Jim Nelson
Spotted by
Jim Nelson


Spotted on Aug 18, 2016
Submitted on Dec 12, 2016

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