Rufous-tailed hummingbirds are some of the most spectacular birds to observe in the wild. With their unique coloring, distinctive call, and small size, they captivate us with their beauty. These enchanting creatures are found from east-central Mexico through Central America and Colombia into Ecuador and Venezuela. Like most hummingbirds, the rufous-tailed feeds on nectar and small insects. It is common at sugar water feeders and often seen in coffee and banana plantations. It is extremely territorial and aggressive at feeding sites such as flower patches and feeders, from which it chases other hummingbirds and large insects. The rufous-tailed hummingbird inhabits open, non-forested, landscapes such as clearings, gardens, and the edges of forest. It is also found in low, young, brushy, secondary forest.
The Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, also known as Selasphorus rufus, is a species of bird found in North America, Central America, and South America. These small but mighty creatures are well known for their agility, their ability to hover in mid-air, and their stunning displays of iridescent feathers. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the biology and habitat of the Rufous-tailed Hummingbird and why it is one of the most fascinating bird species in the world. Biology of the Rufous-tailed Hummingbird The Rufous-tailed Hummingbird is a small bird, measuring only about 3.5 inches in length and weighing less than a nickel. Despite its small size, it is a highly active bird that is capable of hovering in mid-air by rapidly flapping its wings. This allows the hummingbird to feed on nectar from flowers, and to chase away larger birds that may try to steal its food. The Rufous-tailed Hummingbird is also known for its stunning displays of iridescent feathers. These feathers are structural, meaning that they get their iridescence from the way the feathers are structured, rather than from pigments. The microscopic structures in the feathers diffract light, producing the iridescent colors that we see. Habitat of the Rufous-tailed Hummingbird The Rufous-tailed Hummingbird is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and grasslands. However, it is most commonly found in areas with a moderate to high amount of rainfall, as these areas provide the nectar-rich flowers that the hummingbird relies on nectar and small insects for food. The bird is also commonly found at elevations between 1000 and 7000 feet. In the winter months, the Rufous-tailed Hummingbird migrates to Central America and southern Mexico. During this time, the bird can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, mangroves, and even urban areas.