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
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 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.
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.
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