The Broad-Tailed Hummingbird Is an Aerial Acrobat

Among the different types of birds dwelling within or close to Ouray, Colorado, the broad-tailed hummingbird is among the most fascinating. Its length is about four feet and the colorful green backs and crowns plus the white breast, visible on both males and females, make it hard to miss. Despite their similarity, males are marked by a pink-red throat patch called a gorget and a tail that is mostly black with green and white hues in a few cases. Females have duller shades of pale-rust. Male wings often create a trilling sound that can usually be heard as they quickly fly by.

Broad-tailed hummingbirds have similar feeding habits as other species of its kind, as they utilize their long bills to feed on flowers while hovering. Their diet is mainly composed of nectar as well as little insects. These birds can actually “steal” trapped insects from spider webs, or they may be brazen enough to munch on the spider itself.

In regards to males and females, during the mating process, the males will become acrobats of sorts by ascending high into the air (to heights of sixty feet) and then quickly diving down, showcasing their wing trill to wow the females during courtship. Males will also protect their territories during breeding, and fend off intruders.

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