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Rufous Hummingbird

Scientific name: Selasphorous rufus

Length: 3 1/2 inches (8.9 cm)

Identification: Having a compact body, long bill, and short wings, the male is rufous (brownish red) on all sides with a white breast and bright orange-red gorget (throat). The female rufous hummingbird is green above, rufous on the sides, white beneath, and has orange-red spots on the throat patch -- just like the female Allen's hummingbird. However, unlike the female Allen's, a closer observation finds the female rufous with rufous coloring at the base of its outer tail feathers, black in the middle, and white at the tip.

Habitat and range: Traveling further north than any other hummingbird, the rufous hummingbird reaches the sixty-first degree of latitude on the coast of Alaska. Inhabiting woodlands, it ranges down through western Canada and Montana, continuing through Washington and Oregon into northwestern California.

FYI: Hummingbirds are consummate fliers. They do not hop or walk, instead they fly, when they change positions on a branch. Their wings flap between 22 and 79 wingbeats per second compared to a mute swan's 1.5 times per second and a gnat's 500 times per second. Though a female ruby-throated Hummingbird was clocked at 27 mph (43.5 kph), an Allen's hummingbird diving to earth under wing power was calculated to be traveling about 60 mph (96.6 kph). Source: Alexander F. Skutch, The Life of the Hummingbird (New York: Vineyard Books, Inc., 1973), pp. 30-32. A penny weighs only a little less than a rufous hummingbird. Source:
Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Outside links:

Pictures: click picture(s) for larger version, photo credits, and description.

Select a hummingbird by its name:
(in alphabetical order)

Allen's Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird
Blue-throated Hummingbird


Booted Racket-tail Hummingbird


Broad-billed Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird


Calliope Hummingbird


Costa's Hummingbird
Crimson Topaz Hummingbird


Long-tailed Hermit Hummingbird


Magnificent (Rivoli's) Hummingbird
Peruvian Sheartail Hummingbird   Plain-capped Starthroat Hummingbird   Red-billed Streamertail Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird   Rufous Hummingbird   Sword-billed Hummingbird
Violet-crowned Hummingbird   White-eared Hummingbird   Xantus' Hummingbird

Select a hummingbird's nest by its name: (in alphabetical order)

Allen's Hummingbird (nest) & another

Anna's Hummingbird (nest) & another

Bearded Helmetcrest Hummingbird (nest)
Black-chinned Hummingbird (nest) & another & with mother


Broad-billed Hummingbird (eggs only)


Buff-bellied Hummingbird (nest)
Calliope Hummingbird (nest)


Costa's Hummingbird (nest) & another & with mother


Fork-tailed Emerald Hummingbird (nest)
Giant Hummingbird (nest)


Glittering-bellied Emerald Hummingbird (nest)


Golden-bellied Starfrontlet Hummingbird (nest)
Purple-throated Sunangel Hummingbird (nest)   Ruby-throated Hummingbird (nest)   Rufous Hummingbird (nest) & with parents
Sappho Comet Hummingbird (nest)   Xantus' Hummingbird (nest)  

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Hummingbird Pictures Guide, and may NOT be used for other purposes.

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