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Rufous Sabrewing is restricted to the highlands of northern Central America where it is most abundant above 1300 meters. It frequents the interior and edge of rainforests, and is also found in plantations, partially wooded canyons, and humid pine-oak forests. These hummingbirds are most active at lower levels, especially in the dense understory and in partially open areas. Both sexes are similar and possess cinnamon colored underparts.