The rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) has a white breast and red face, upper, flanks and tail. In addition, this hummingbird species is characterized by an iridescent red or orange throat patch.
A number of the males have a distinct green patch on their back or crown. Female rufous hums are typically distinguished by their green tops with some iridescent white and orange feathers on the throat. This is in addition to a dark tail that also features white tips and a red base.
When it comes to size, the female rufous hummingbird is somewhat larger than the male colleagues. This species has a typical size: 7 to 9 centimeters long, about 11 centimeters wingspan and weighs 2 to 5 grams.
The hummingbird owes much of its techniques to the strength and speed of its wings. Some species of this bird can flap their wings 52 times per second, which gives them the ability to stop in the air and fly on their backs.
Behavior and breeding
Like other hummingbirds, the rufous hummingbird species feeds on flower nectar using its long tongue. The diet is supplemented with small invertebrates, including flies, spiders and aphids, which can be caught midair or extracted from cobwebs or plants.
This species of hummingbirds is aggressively territorial and is known to defend areas with flowers not only during breeding but also during migration. At all times of the year, this little bird attacks any visiting hummingbird, including larger species and it has been seen chasing squirrels.
The breeding season of the red hummingbird runs from March to July. The female builds the nest alone in the shape of a small unit covered externally with lichens, mosses and bark that are held together with cobwebs. The nest is usually well hidden in a shrub, conifer tree or oak tree.
The female rufous hummingbird species lay two to three eggs, which are incubated for a period of 15 to 17 days. The chicks leave the nest after about 20 to 26 days. This hummingbird can live for more than eight years.
During the breeding season, it is found in a variety of habitats, including woods, forests, open or shrubby areas, marshes, meadows, agricultural fields, patios, parks and gardens. During migration, it is active in mountain meadows, often in undisturbed areas where flowers are blooming, often at altitudes up to 3,840 m.
The distribution range of the rufous hummingbird species extends from southeastern Alaska, southwestern Canada, and northwestern the United States to northwestern California. It has one of the longest migrations of any bird in terms of its body size. It travels south for the winter from South Carolina and the US Gulf Coast to Mexico. This species travels over 3,200 km in its migrations.
It is said that there are more than 300 types of hummingbirds in the world. Some species like rufous and Allen are similar in appearance. Hummingbirds are wonderful creatures of colors that come in a variety of colors of brown and green to bright red, purple and violet.