Broad-billed Hummingbirds

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I’ve mentioned previously that southern Arizona is home to species that are relatively common locally but that are often unknown throughout most of rest of the United States. That’s certainly true of today’s bird, the Broad-billed Hummingbird. This little hummingbird shows up in riparian woodlands and canyons throughout much of southern Arizona, and even in some Tucson suburban neighborhoods, but virtually nowhere else in this country. Southern Arizona is, in fact, the northernmost tip of a range for this species that extends through much of Mexico and into Central America.

I found today’s subjects in Madera Canyon, south of Tucson. For me, the males of this species are easy to identify by their bright red beaks. Another identifying feature is the males’ bright blue iridescent neck plumage.

Females are harder to identify. There’s a generic “female hummingbird” look to the females of several hummingbird species that makes them all look pretty much alike. Sometimes, the best way for me to identify a female is by associating her with her preferred habitat. However, look closely at this individual and you’ll see that she also has a reddish beak, albeit not nearly as brightly colored as is the male’s beak.

The males can be astonishingly colorful when viewed in light that reveals their iridescent plumage in its full glory. I find the brilliant, almost neon-blue tail feathers on this individual to be especially compelling.

Images made with a Canon R5, Canon EF 400mm f4 DO II lens+Canon EF 1.4x telextender, M setting (auto ISO). First image, ISO 12,800, f7.1 @ 1/2000, +1 2/3 stops exposure compensation. Second image, ISO 12,800, f7.1 @ 1/2000. Third image, ISO 640, f5.6 @ 1/2000, =2/3 stop exposure compensation.

3 Replies to “Broad-billed Hummingbirds”

  1. Roadtirement says:

    Most impressive images. Bravo, sir.

  2. Beautiful series of images! Enjoyed seeing them!

  3. DAN WEISZ says:

    Just for fun, check out the eBird sightings of Broad-billed hummingbirds beyond SE AZ. SE AZ is what’s on most range maps but there is variability too!!!!!


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