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Tutt Library Research Guides

Birding Colorado Springs: Hummingbirds

Birds commonly seen in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas.

Hummingbirds

The smallest of birds, hummingbirds can hover in place like a bumblebee. They consume flower nectar as well as small insects and spiders.

Rufous Hummingbird

https://www.flickr.com/photos/marklwatson/5970502627/
Author: Ryan Bushby. Creative Commons Attribution 2.5

Info (All About Birds) Call and Buzz (Macaulay Library) Video (YouTube)
  • Male Rufous Hummingbird is orange-ish with a red gorget (throat);head may be green or rufous
  • Female is drab but with pale rufous color in some areas
  • Extremely aggressive with members of its own and other hummingbird species

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

https://www.flickr.com/photos/marklwatson/5970502627/
Author: Mark Watson. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

Info (All About Birds) Call and Buzz (Macaulay Library) Video (YouTube)
  • Male Broad-tailed has red gorget (throat); female has plain throat and is less colorful overall
  • Male makes a characteristic high-pitched buzz as it flies; more often heard than seen
  • Individuals can go into torpor on cold nights

Not birds: Hummingbird moths

Mentioned here to avoid confusion with real hummingbirds. There are a number of moths, often referred to as hummingbird moths, which strikingly resemble actual hummingbirds in form and behavior. They hover and sip nectar very much like their namesake bird would. Seeing one of these moths in motion (not a still photograph), an observer could accidentally mistake the moth for its namesake. Hummingbirds and hummingbird moths represent a good example of convergent evolution.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kaibara87_-_Hummingbird_Hawk-moth_%28by%29.jpg
Author: Umberto Salvagnin. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

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