These tiny hummingbirds are usually seen on an open perch or hovering like a bee at flowering trees. Males boast a deep reddish-pink gorget and wide white chest band. Females have dark ear patches and are buffy below. Both males and females have a white flank stripe. Rufous-shafted Woodstars inhabit humid and wet forests and their borders, old second growth, and gardens. They forage at all levels both inside and on the edge of forests. Sometimes they steal nectar from flowers defended by larger hummingbirds.