Broad-tailed Hummingbird,Selasphorus platycercus. (Fig. 11.17) Male length 3 1/2 in (9 cm), female length 3 3/4 in (9.5 cm); male weight 1/10 oz (3.8 g), female weight 1/8 oz (4.5 g). Relatively common summer resident locally in the White-Inyo Range; occurs between approximately 6,000 and 9,000 ft (1,829 and 2,743 m) elevation.
This hummingbird inhabits the pinyon-juniper-Mountain Mahogany belt, where it prefers riparian thickets along wet or dry watercourses or near springs. There it feeds primarily on nectar from a variety of plants. Insects and spiders on flowers, near sapsucker borings, or in the air are also taken. The small, cup-shaped nests are typically placed on low horizontal branches of streamside trees. Like most hummingbirds, the Broad-tailed Hummingbird constructs its nest with spider webs, fine leaves, shreds of bark, and cottony material. Prior to breeding, one or several males display with U-shaped dives to a perched female from 20 ft (6 m) or more above the ground. During this display, sharp clicking notes are commonly uttered. In ordinary flight, males produce with specialized wing feathers a characteristic cricketlike trill. Reference: Johnsgard (1983).