USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Broad-tailed Hummingbird -- Selasphorus platycercus


RANGE: Breeds in the mountains from north-central Idaho, northern Utah, and northern Wyoming south to southeastern California, northern Mexico, and western Texas. Winters in Mexico.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Inhabits meadows and patches of flowers within pine, spruce, fir, and sometimes aspen forests from 4,000 to 11,000 feet. Also inhabits gardens in towns and cities, and sometimes ranges eastward onto the Plains.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Flowers for nectar.

NEST: Nests are saddled on large horizontal limbs or small twigs in shrubs along moist canyon walls, in Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine, subalpine fir, or other conifer, oak, aspen, alder, willow, or cottonwood. Usually locates nest 4 to 15 feet above the ground, and frequently uses the same location for several consecutive summers.

FOOD: Obtains nectar from a variety of flowers. Comes to hummingbird feeders for sugar water and eats small insects and spiders.

REFERENCES: Bailey and Niedrach 1965, Bent 1940b, Johnsgard 1979, 1983b, Phillips et al. 1964, Terres 1980.


Previous Section -- Family Trochilidae
Return to Family List
Return to Contents

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/forest/species/selaplat.htm
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Friday, 01-Feb-2013 19:28:05 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww54]