Size: The Blue-throated Hummingbird is the largest hummer at about 5.25 inches with a long and straight black bill. It has the largest wingspan of any hummingbird (8 inches). When many hummers are present, the Blue Throat (and the Magnificent) will stand out sharply because of their size.
Identifying Characteristics: The sexes are very similar in every respect except that the male has the "blue throat." Both have thin white stripes above and below the eye. Both have uniformly dark gray bodies. It's tail feathers are an iridescent blue which you can see from the photos above.
Habitat: Shady mountain woodlands and canyons where water is present. So it may migrate into normally dryer areas when there is abundant rainfall. Likes sycamores and maples though where there is water can be found among conifers as well.
Range: Mexico, with occasional summer visits to the Madrean Sky Islands of Southern Arizona.
Seasons: The Blue-throated is most numerous in Arizona from late April through September. However, they can sometimes be found at the Portal and Ramsey Canyon feeders during winter months.
Where to Find: The Blue -throated is much less common than the Magnificent. A reliable spot is Beatty's Orchard in Miller Canyon, in the Huachuca Mountains (though it is not always there on a daily basis even in the summer). It will be found in the upper feeder site across the canyon's creek. It is a year round resident at the Cave Creek Ranch feeders (in Portal), so it is a sure bet there. Newly bloomed thistles are a great "feeding ground" for many hummingbirds. So a great place to look as well.
Comments: Usually, there are incredible aerial displays of these large hummers. They have the slowest wingbeat of any North American hummingbird, but because of their enormouos wingspan move very quickly -- and right in your face. They are not constantly at the feeders, though. You may have to wait 15 - 20 minutes or more, (if they are in the area) so be patient.