Return of Bird of the Week: Broad-billed Hummingbird


Broad-billed Hummingbird, Patagonia State Park, Arizona

Broad-billed Hummingbird, Patagonia State Park, Arizona

North America has hummingbirds, too. They aren’t exclusively neotropical. One of the North American breeders – just barely – is the Broad-billed Hummingbird, a smaller species. It’s primarily a Mexican species, but the breeding range extends a few dozen miles in to southeast Arizona and southwest New Mexico.

Broad-billed Hummingbird, Sonoran Desert Museum, Arizona

Broad-billed Hummingbird, Sonoran Desert Museum, Arizona

Like most hummingbird species, the male’s job is mostly done after copulation; the nest is built by the female. The eggs are incubated and the chicks fed by the female. But take all that with a grain of salt. As Birds of North America puts it, “Gaps in our understanding of this species offer many opportunities for further study.”

Based on limited behavioral study, this species is a trapliner, following a “route” among flowers for nectar. While it also hawks bugs, that seems to be mostly feed the chicks. Its preferred habitat seems to be riparian corridors and stream courses. Habitat loss is a serious problem. The impact of climate change is unknown.

Why it's called "broad-billed;" Patagonia State Park, Arizona

Why it’s called “broad-billed;” Patagonia State Park, Arizona

While Broad-billeds aren’t especially belligerent, as hummingbirds go, they’ve been documented badgering American Kestrels and Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls.

They are gorgeous little birds, “flying jewels,” and WC never gets tired of watching and photographing them.

For more bird photographs, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

 

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