Rufous Hummingbird Selasphorus rufus



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Adult male

Small hummingbird with a nearly straight bill, a tail that tapers to a point when folded, and fairly short wings that don’t reach the end of the tail when the bird is perched. Males are bright orange on the back and belly, with a vivid iridescent-red throat.


Females/immatures are greenish above with rusty-washed flanks, rusty patches on their green tail, and often a spot of orange on the throat.

Immature male

Immature males have rusty washed sides and a spot of orange coming in on their throat.

Adult male

The majority of adult males have a rusty back and tail. The outer tail feathers are broad and the fourth tail feather from the outside has a notched tip.

Adult male

Some adult males have green on their backs similar to Allen's Hummingbirds. Separating these green-backed individuals in the field requires careful inspection of the shape of the spread outer tail feathers.

Adult male

Aggressive hummingbird that tirelessly chases away other hummingbirds away from feeders.

Immature male

Immature males often look messy as their new feathers come in, showing features of both immature and adult plumages.


Breeds in open or shrubby areas, forest openings, yards, and parks, and sometimes in forests, thickets, swamps, and meadows from sea level to about 6,000 feet.

Recommended Citation

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: