Birds Living by Richard Stade - RStade

Rufous Hummingbird – Hovering before feeding

Selasphorus rufous

September – New Mexico

L=3.75” ...... WS=4.5”...... WT=0.1 oz Order: Apodiformes (Swifts and Hummingbirds) Family: Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

Rufous Hummingbirds breed farther north than any other hummingbird, as far north as Alaska. They migrate to Mexico which gives these birds the longest migration, measured in body lengths, of any known avian migration. They have unusually short wings with high wing loading for a hummingbird which could be an adaptation to allow for fast flight during the long migration. Rufous Hummingbirds are aggressive and generally will dominate other hummingbirds, such as the Broad-tailed Hummingbird, when they are in the same locale. This occurs during the Rufous’s migration which passes through the Broad-tailed Hummingbird's summer territory before the Broad-tailed starts its migration. In these two photographs the Rufous Hummingbird chased the Broad-tailed Hummingbird from the feeding site.