These solitary hummingbirds spend their time in humid forests, tall second growth, shaded plantations, or in gardens. They usually forage at low flowers, especially from plants in the Rubiaceae genus. While males sometimes defend patches of flowers and act aggressively, females tend to be less territorial and either trapline or steal nectar from the floral territories of other hummingbirds. Males are notably dark in color and have forked tails. Females are light gray below and are similar to Gray-breasted Sabrewings (Campylopterus largipennis), but are smaller and lack white corners on the tail.