General Description: Medium-sized hummingbird with a short, straight bill and long, sloping forehead. Plumage is bronze-green above and gray below. The male’s head and throat are bright iridescent red, and the tails are solid blackish-gray. Females have green heads with a small amount of red on their throats and white tips on black tails.
Habitat: A wide variety of habitats, including open woods, coastal valleys, chaparral, and suburban gardens and parks, where hummingbird feeders and exotic plantings provide them with food throughout the year.
Behavior: Both genders make a variety of buzzes, chips, and chatters, and defend foraging territories, although males defend more diligently. The male’s courtship dive is distinctive to the species: flying high, plummeting and making a loud, distinctive popping sound called the “dive noise” at the bottom of the dive.
Diet: They feed on nectar from flowers and feeders, and on small insects and spiders that they catch in the air or glean from trees.
Range in North America: Pacific Coast, from southern Canada to southern Baja California.
When to See in Washington: Appears year around in the Puget Trough. Has a succession of movements and temporary residences wherever suitable flowers and feeders are found.