Kelly Vaughn

The idea of traveling 4,000 miles can be daunting, but not for rufous hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus). They routinely fly that far as part of their annual migration, which includes time in Arizona. And they do it on wings that span approximately 4 inches and hum at a rate of 62 beats per second. Males, like the one pictured here, are marked by bright orange-brown, or rufous, coloring on their backs and bellies. Like their ruby-throated counterparts, they have iridescent neck feathers. Females, on the other hand, are marked by green backs and rusty flanks. In Arizona, these birds might visit your garden, particularly if it’s home to bright, tubular flowers that provide nectar to the pollinators. Don’t get used to them, though; they’ll likely hum along within a week or two.