Selasphorus platycercus

The Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Selasphorus platycerus, which occurs in the western U.S. and Mexico, strongly resembles the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Archilochus colubris, of the eastern U.S. and is sometimes INCORRECTLY referred to as a "ruby-throat." The broad, rounded tail that gives the Broad-tailed its name occurs in both males and females; in Ruby-throats, the female and young males have rounded tails but the adult male's tail is forked and has pointed feathers (compare at RTHU External Morphology).

If you have a sharp photo of a Broad-tailed Hummingbird you would like to contribute for this page, please send it to PROJECTS with info about when and where the photo was taken, the photographer's name, and any anectdotal info about the bird.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Selasphorus platycercus, adult male
Adult Male (above) resembles Ruby-throated Hummingbird adult male but does not have a forked tail.Adult Female (below)

Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Selasphorus platycercus, adult female

Photographs courtesy of Animal Pictures Archive


Breeding Bird Survey Results (above)

Maps courtesy of Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey

NOTE: Although Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the primary focus of "Operation RubyThroat: The Hummingbird Project", we are also interested in other hummingbird species--especially vagrants that appear in winter (mid-October through mid-March) in the eastern U.S. If you know of a wintering hummingbird east of the Mississippi, please report it to RESEARCH. We will contact a local hummingbird bander about capturing the bird, identifying and banding it, and releasing it unharmed.

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