Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus)


French: Colibri à queue large German: Breitschwanzelfe Spanish: Colibrí coliancho

Trochilus platycercus


, 1827,

no locality = Mexico


In the past this species was occasionally placed in Archilochus. Proposed race guatemalae (Guatemala) poorly defined: morphological patterns and variation in size are clinal in character. Monotypic.


W & WC USA (S Idaho and N Wyoming S to E California, Arizona and SW Texas) S through upland Mexico to highlands of Guatemala. N populations winter in Mexico and Guatemala.

Descriptive notes

9·5–10 cm; 2·6–4·1 g. Male has short, straight, black bill; upperparts olive-green; throat iridescent rose-red, rest of underparts white with... read more


Apparently no song is used in courtship or territory defence. Display-flight of male starts by... read more


Sonoran belt of Pinus, Juniperus and Cercocarpus forests, riparian... read more

Food and feeding

Nectar of flowering shrubs and low-growing perennials, including Penste­mon, Ipomopsis, Castilleja, ... read more


In USA, Apr–Jun (Texas), May–Jul (Arizona), May–Jul (Colorado), Jun–Jul (Utah). Small cup-shaped nest of fine plant... read more


Sedentary in Mexico and Guatemala, migratory in USA. Male arrives in Arizona late Feb or early Mar... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Locally common, especially in the Chiricahua Mts of Arizona. many parts of North American breeding range protected by national parks and... read more

Recommended citation

Schuchmann, K.L. & Boesman, P. (2019). Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 7 December 2019).