Rufous-breasted Hermits occupy a large variety of forest types, making them widespread both geographically and altitudinally. They abound in Amazonia, but are common throughout much of their range. Deep rufous on the underparts and on the rounded tail help distinguish this species from other hermits, as does the fact that Rufous-breasted Hermits do not form leks. Those from Grenada, Trinidad, and Tobago are morphologically distinct and constitute one of the two subspecies of Rufous-breasted Hermits. This species is often seen in the understory feeding on nectar of Heliconia and unlike many hummingbirds, males frequent and defend the area surrounding the nest.