This tiny forest sprite is found at middle elevations in Andean cloud forest, from around 1,000–2,200 m. The male is one of the most distinctive hummingbirds with his long tail rackets and prominent white or orange leg puffs. Females can be identified by their white underparts with variable amounts of spotting, short straight bill, leg puffs, and tiny size. Beware female whitetips, which have very similar plumage but are larger and longer-billed and do not have leg puffs. Can be seen foraging at low or middle levels of forest and edges. Visits feeders.