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The Rufous Hummingbird, scientifically known as Selasphorus rufus, is a small and vibrant bird species. It is particularly noted for its striking rufous or orange-brown coloring, which is especially pronounced in males. These birds are commonly found in Bisbee, Arizona, particularly in the Mule Mountains region, where they thrive in the unique ecosystem.


Mule Mountains Region

In the Mule Mountains, located near Bisbee, Arizona, Rufous Hummingbirds find an ideal habitat. This area offers a diverse range of flora that provides these birds with necessary nectar and insects for nourishment. The Mule Mountains' elevation and climate create a favorable environment for these birds, especially during their migration periods.

Physical Description

Distinctive Features

The Rufous Hummingbird is renowned for its vibrant rufous color, with males displaying a more brilliant hue compared to the females. They are small birds, typically measuring about 3 inches in length. These birds possess a slender bill and rapid wingbeats, which produce the humming sound that is characteristic of the species.


Feeding Habits

Rufous Hummingbirds are primarily nectar feeders, frequenting flowers with high nectar output. They also consume small insects and spiders, which provide essential proteins. In the Mule Mountains, they are often seen darting between flowers, exhibiting an agile and acrobatic flight.

Migration Patterns

Rufous Hummingbirds are known for their long migratory journeys, one of the longest of any hummingbird species. They travel over 3,000 miles from their wintering grounds in Mexico to their breeding grounds in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Bisbee, Arizona, and specifically the Mule Mountains, serve as an important stopover during these migrations.

Conservation Status

Threats and Protection

Currently, the Rufous Hummingbird is listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN. However, they face threats from habitat loss and climate change. Conservation efforts in Bisbee and the Mule Mountains focus on preserving natural habitats and promoting gardening practices that support these birds.

Significance to Bisbee

Local Importance

In Bisbee, the Rufous Hummingbird has become a symbol of local wildlife and natural beauty. Their presence adds to the biodiversity of the region and is a point of interest for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts visiting the area. Efforts to maintain and protect their habitat in the Mule Mountains are crucial for their continued presence in this region.

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