Birds Living by Richard Stade - RStade

Broad-tailed Hummingbird – Hovering before feeding

Selasphorus platycerus

September – New Mexico

L=4” ...... WS=5.25”...... WT=0.13 oz Order: Apodiformes (Swifts and Hummingbirds) Family: Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

The Broad-tailed Hummingbird breeds at high elevations in the southern and central Rocky Mountains, eastern California, and Mexico. One identifying characteristic is the male’s shrill buzzing sound that occurs during flight. This buzzing is due to tapered outer feathers on their wings that buzz when air passes through them. Like all hummingbirds, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds have a very long slender tongue. The tongue itself wraps around the back of the skull and then enters the oral cavity. This coil allows the tongues of hummingbirds to extend well beyond the typically long bill, sometimes as much as a full bill length beyond the bill itself .