Selasphorus rufus L 3.5–3.75 inches.
Colorful hummingbird. Extremely similar to Allen’s, and separation of juveniles and females is seldom possible in the field. Extremely well-marked male Rufous (with rufous back) is more straightforward, but note that many males have green backs, similar to male Allen’s! Breeding range (Mar–Jul) is a good guideline. Wings make a buzzing sound in direct flight. Tail has pointed feather tips. Sexes are dissimilar.
ADULT MALE Has mainly rufous upperparts, including tail and tail coverts, but with variable green feathering on back and green crown. Underparts are flushed rufous, except for pale chest band. Note shining orange-red gorget seen at certain angles; in most light, throat looks dark.
ADULT FEMALE Has green upperparts and mainly pale underparts, with rufous on flanks and spots on throat (central red spot seen at certain angles). Tail is mainly rufous with black band and white tips to outer feathers.
JUVENILE Resembles adult female, but males soon acquire adult characters.
VOICE Call is a sharp tik-tik.
STATUS AND HABITAT Common breeding visitor (mainly Mar–Jul) to forest margins and clearings in northwest.Winters in Mexico.
OBSERVATION TIPS Easy to see within range. Hard to identify with certainty during migration, given overlap with Allen’s.
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