Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Beautiful Birds of Belize Blog – Post #22

By Jim Gain


  • Scientific Name: Amazilia tzacatl
  • Name in Spanish (Mexico): Colibrí Cola Canela
  • Name in Mayan: X ts’unu’um
  • ABA 4-Letter Bird Code: RTAH
  • Family: Trochilidae
  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Image © Jim Gain

About this Species

The Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl) is a common species of hummingbird found in Belize. This species is sexually dimorphic, with males having a striking iridescent greenish-gold color on their head, back, and throat, and a rufous-colored tail, while females have a duller green coloration and a slightly shorter tail. Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds are small, measuring only about 4.5 inches in length and weighing less than half an ounce.

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Image © Jim Gain

Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds are highly adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, gardens, and even urban areas. They feed mainly on nectar from flowers, but also consume small insects and spiders, which they catch in mid-air using their long, thin bills. During breeding season, males perform elaborate aerial displays to attract females, involving rapid wing flapping, dives, and loops.

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Image © Jim Gain

Breeding typically occurs from March to July, with the female building a small, cup-shaped nest made of plant fibers and spider silk, which is attached to a tree branch or other structure. The female lays 2-3 eggs, which hatch after about 15 days. The young are cared for by the female for about 3 weeks before they fledge and become independent. Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds are considered to be of least concern in terms of conservation status, as they have a large range and are not currently facing any major threats.

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Image © Jim Gain

>> Next Post on Friday, 6/12/2023 – Bat Falcon

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