General Description: Males are reddish all over with white chests and short green wings. Females are green above, with rofous (reddish-brown) flanks and rofous at the base of the tail. Their throats have a reddish central spot. Both genders are small and compact.
Habitat: Typically found at coniferous forest edges and open fields, sub-alpine shrubby habitats, and in residential areas. Found in many habitats west of the Cascades. East of the Cascades, they seek out higher elevations and other locations where rainfall is greater.
Behavior: Highly territorial, defending foraging territories during breeding and migration. The male’s courtship aerial display involves diving and emitting a loud whining sound.
Diet: Insects, and flower nectar from plants such as red-flowering currant, salmonberry, and honeysuckle.
Range in North America: Western U.S. and Canada. They over-winter in Mexico and south Texas (and increasingly in Gulf states). They migrate there starting in late July and early August. In spring, the birds migrate up the Pacific Coast to Washington and north to south-central Alaska.
When to See in Washington: Early spring along the coast and late spring and summer throughout the state.