Bird GuideHummingbirdsBroad-billed Hummingbird
Broad-billed Hummingbird
Cynanthus latirostris

At a Glance

Category
Hummingbirds
Conservation
Low Concern
Habitat
Arroyos and Canyons, Desert and Arid Habitats, Forests and Woodlands, Shrublands, Savannas, and Thickets
Region
California, Plains, Southwest, Texas
Behavior
Flitter, Hovering, Rapid Wingbeats
Population
2.200.000

Range & Identification

Migration & Range Maps

Present in southern Arizona mostly March to September. In areas north and west of breeding range (including central Arizona and southern California), very small numbers may be present mainly in fall and winter.

Description

4" (10 cm). Adult male dark blue-green, with red-based bill. Tail blue-black, slightly forked; undertail coverts white. Female has less red on bill, smooth gray below, white face stripe; note tail action and pattern. Compare to White-eared Hummingbird (rare).
Size
About the size of a Sparrow
Color
Black, Blue, Green, Orange, White
Wing Shape
Narrow, Rounded, Short
Tail Shape
Notched, Short, Square-tipped

Songs and Calls

A rapid, scratching chi-dit, like the note of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.
Call Pattern
Flat
Call Type
Buzz, Chirp/Chip

Habitat

Streamsides, foothill oak woodlands. Breeds mostly in semi-open habitats at around 3,000-5,000 feet in Arizona. Favors areas with streamside groves of sycamore or cottonwoodand with dense mesquite thickets, or open oak woodlands in lower canyons. In winter may be found along streams in desert country.

Behavior

Eggs

2. White. Incubation is by female only, probably more than 2 weeks. Young: Female feeds the young, sticking her bill deep into their mouths and regurgitating tiny insects, perhaps mixed with nectar.

Young

Female feeds the young, sticking her bill deep into their mouths and regurgitating tiny insects, perhaps mixed with nectar.

Feeding Behavior

At flowers, usually feeds while hovering, extending its bill and long tongue deep into the flower. At feeders, may either hover or perch. To catch small insects, may fly out and grab them in midair, or hover to pluck them from foliage; sometimes will take insects from spider webs.

Diet

Mostly nectar and insects. Takes nectar from flowers, and eats many tiny insects as well. Favors red or orange tubular flowers such as bouvardia or desert honeysuckle. Will also feed on sugar-water mixtures in hummingbird feeders.

Nesting

Male has soft jumbled song, not often heard; seems to defend territory mostly by perching high, watching for intruders and chasing them away. Nest site is in deciduous shrub or low tree, saddled on horizontal or drooping branch or placed in fork, usually 3-9 feet above the ground. Nest (built by female) is a relatively loose cup of grasses, plant fibers, spider webs, lined with plant down. The outside is camouflaged with bits of leaves or bark; unlike many hummingbird nests, outside usually not decorated with lichens.

Climate Vulnerability

Conservation Status

Very common in limited range in U.S. and in parts of Mexico.

Climate Map

Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect the range of the Broad-billed Hummingbird. Learn even more in our Audubon’s Survival By Degrees project.

Climate Threats Facing the Broad-billed Hummingbird

Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too.