Bird of the Week

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Photo courtesy Charles Martinez

This week’s Bird of the Week, compliments of the Weminuche Audubon Society and Audubon Rockies, is the broad-tailed hummingbird.
This is a common species of hummingbird living and migrating through the high altitudes of Mexico (winter) and the Rocky Mountain regions (summer). It travels early in the spring and fall, moving north in early March and south in early August. It usually shows up in our neck of the woods the second week of April.
The broad-tailed hummingbird is a medium-size hummingbird about 4 to 4.5 inches long with a wing span of 5 inches. As its name suggests, it has a long, broadly rounded tail extending beyond the wingtips when perched. The male has a green back, neck and head, and a bright rosy red throat. The female is duller with buffy sides and a speckled throat. The wings of the male produce a high musical trill in flight. Males may mate with several females over the breeding season.
These hummingbirds feed on nectar and small insects, sometimes snatching small insects out of the air or from spiderwebs. They do visit sugar water feeders, but an excellent way to attract them to your yard is to plant natural nectar sources. Their favorite flowers are colored red and have tubular blossoms. Some plant suggestions include Agastache, red columbine, lobelia, larkspur, petunia, salvia, scarlet skyrocket and great
red Indian paint brush.
For information on local bird watching events, visit www.weminucheaudubon.org and www.facebook.com/weminucheaudubon/.