These large but very short-billed hummingbirds live at high elevations in stunted woodlands or in shrubby areas of montane forests and the páramo. Both males and females have rufous-copper rumps and long tails. Males boast a long green stripe on the throat which turns pink at the chest. Bronze-tailed Thornbills are aggressive hummingbirds and both defend flower patches and visit scattered flowers. They tend to forage individually and cling onto flowers when gathering nectar, or hover with slow wing beats. During certain times of the year, they also feed extensively on insects. When perched, they usually rest in shrubs or beneath rocky outcrops.