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Species Guide
A photo of a Broad-billed Hummingbird (Cynanthus latirostris), male
Broad-billed Hummingbird, Male

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Cynanthus latirostris

The Broad-billed Hummingbird, Cynanthus latirostris, is a diminutive avian jewel, with males typically displaying a metallic green dorsum and a striking blue throat, while females and juveniles exhibit more subdued hues. This species is characterized by its vibrant reddish bill with a contrasting black tip, a feature that is particularly pronounced in males.

Identification Tips

Adult males can be identified by their dark green plumage and white undertail-coverts, complemented by a blue throat. Their tail is broad and blackish-blue, and their flight feathers bear a brownish-gray tinge. Females, on the other hand, have a pale belly and a distinctive white eyestripe behind the eye, with white-tipped tail feathers. Juveniles resemble adult females but lack the white-tipped tail, and juvenile males will gradually develop redder bills and iridescent throat feathers as they mature.


In the United States, the Broad-billed Hummingbird is found along streamsides and oak woodlands, favoring areas with dense vegetation and open oak woodlands in lower canyons. It is particularly associated with Arizona sycamore, Fremont cottonwoods, and mesquite. In Mexico, it occupies a range of elevations and is a common resident of arid thorn forests, tropical deciduous forests, and riparian gallery forests.


The Broad-billed Hummingbird is a resident of Mexico and the southwestern United States. It breeds in desert canyons and low mountain oak woodlands from the Southwest United States to central Mexico, with breeding populations noted in southeast Arizona, southwest New Mexico, and occasionally southwest Texas.


This diurnal bird is known for its agility and precision in flight, often seen visiting flowers and feeders for nectar and catching insects in midair or plucking them from plants.

Song & Calls

Both male and female Broad-billed Hummingbirds engage in a rapid chatter reminiscent of the Ruby-crowned Kinglet's note, a sound that can be heard while perching or in flight. The male's display call is a whining zing, though little is known about the species' song.


Broad-billed Hummingbirds reproduce through mate choice, with males performing a "pendulum display" consisting of hovering and flying back and forth in arcs to attract females. Nesting occurs at various elevations, with nests typically constructed within 2 meters of the ground and exclusively by females. The female lays two smooth, white eggs, which are believed to be incubated for over two weeks.

Similar Species

The Broad-billed Hummingbird can be confused with other hummingbird species, but its broad, bright red bill and the male's blue throat are distinctive features that aid in identification.

Diet and Feeding

The diet consists of nectar and insects, with a preference for red or red-and-yellow flowers. The hummingbird feeds by extending its bill and tongue into flowers while hovering or perching at feeders. It is known to eat from a variety of flowering species, including agave, desert honeysuckle, and milkweed in the United States, and from species like Bejuco blanco and pochote in Mexico.

Conservation status

The Broad-billed Hummingbird is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating that it is not at immediate risk of population decline. However, like all species, it is subject to the pressures of habitat change and environmental fluctuations.

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