Brief SummaryRead full entry
Although the male Rufous Hummingbird's courtship display has been described as tracing a steep U or vertical oval, climbing high and then diving steeply, with whining and popping sounds at the bottom of the dive, Hurly et al. (2001) report that this is not accurate for many populations and likely is true for none. In their observations, males made J-shaped dive displays that were concave upward during both the climb and the dive. Males produce a high-pitched whine during dives. Toward the bottom of the arc, they produce a distinctive pulsing sound (chu-chu-chu-chu), and then end with a buzzing or “rattle” sound during the waggle. The male also performs a shuttle-flight display a few centimeters above an intruder, usually a female perched in low vegetation, hovering in a horizontal orientation and throwing himself from side to side with his head facing the female and his tail describing an arc on the order of 130°, and approximately 40 to 50 cm in length, in the horizontal plane. A characteristic throbbing buzz can be heard as the male moves from side to side. A single male may mate with several females.(Hurly et al. 2001)
The nest of a Rufous Hummingbird is typically well concealed in the lower part of a coniferous tree, deciduous shrub, or vine. It is generally less than 5 m above the ground, although it may be as high as 10 m. Built by the female alone, it is a compact cup of soft materials held together with pieces of spider web and lined with plant down, The outside is camouflaged with pieces of lichen. Old nests may be repaired and re-used. The clutch of two (sometimes one, possibly rarely three or even four) white eggs is incubated by the female alone for 15 to 17 days. The female is also solely responsible for feeding the young after hatching. Age at first flight is around 21 days.
This species is widespread and abundant, although there is some evidence of recent declines.
(Kaufman 1996; AOU 1998)