- Length: 3 inches
- Long, straight, thin bill
- Small hummingbird
- Bright green back and crown
- White underparts with greenish flanks
- Iridescent scarlet gorget
- Black face and chin
- Entirely dark forked tail
- White chin and throat with variable amounts of thin dark
- Dark, shallowly-forked tail with white tips on outer tail feathers
No other hummingbirds occur regularly over much
of its range, but there is some overlap in the southeast and Texas.
The Broad-tailed Hummingbird is similar to the male Ruby-throated,
but has a rosy-red throat rather than a scarlet or ruby throat
patch. Male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can also be identified by
their black face and chin, and their distinctive call notes, and
the lack of a wing whistle produced by their wings in flight.
Females are similar to a number of other female hummingbirds, and
are best told from the Calliope Hummingbird and species in the
genus Selasphorus by their lack of rufous on the flanks and in the
tail. Anna's Hummingbirds are larger and have grayer chests, while
Costa's Hummingbirds differ only in subtleties of facial pattern
and tail pattern. Black-chinned Hummingbird females are
essentially identical, and are not safely separable from female
Ruby-throateds except in the hand. Best told from all species
except Black-chinned Hummingbird by call.
Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.
Patuxent Bird Population Studies
Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter