There are around 15 types of hummingbirds seen in the United States. A few of these beautiful gifts of God live here all year. Other come for the warm months from Mexico and other areas of the south.
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the most well known of all the types of hummers.
It populates the entire eastern half of the United States during the warm months.
The male Ruby-throated, as his name implies has a ruby-red throat, gorget.
The top of his head, back and sides are greenish. His underside is whitish. His dark tail is deeply notched in the center.
The female’s dark tail is not notched, but it has white on the ends of the outside corners.
Her throat and under parts are whitish. The top of her head and back are greenish.
There may be fine spots on her throat. The immature males resemble the females.
The female Ruby-throated builds her nest 10’ to 20’ off the ground, under a branch and over an open area or water.
She lays two eggs about the size of a navy bean. She incubates the eggs for 14 to 16 days.
She feeds the baby hummers regurgitated nectar and bugs for about 21 days before the babies fledge.
My Missouri sister says they can tell the babies at the feeder by their fluffy white bottoms. They don’t have to have feathers on their bottoms to fly, so that is one of the last areas to grow their feathers.
In the fall, August to September depending on exactly where they live, the adults head south for the winter. The juveniles hang back and eat and then head south weeks after the older hummingbirds have already left.
Then in the spring March to April, they all fly back to the same area they left in the fall. They remember where the feeders and flowers were where they ate last year.
This tiny bird, just over 3 inches big, flies 500-600 miles south to Mexico or Central America for the winter. Then in the spring they fly the long way back to the area where they were hatched. These tiny jewels certainly are one of God’s amazing gifts.
The Allen's Hummingbird is one of the types of hummingbirds that are full-time residents in the United States. It lives all year in California. It frequents the coastal foothills.
They look very similar to the Rufous Hummingbird. But the Rufous has a rust colored back and the Allen's has a metallic green back and head.
It has rufous colored sides and a copper-red throat on the male.
It has a dark forked tail.
The male Anna’s Hummingbird has a flared rose colored gorget, and the same color on his head. This coloring distinguishes it from the Ruby-throated which has only a red colored gorget with a green head.
It is slightly larger than the Ruby-throat and has a bulkier looking body.
It is found on the west coast of the United States from Canada to Mexico. In the winter it may range across the southern edge of Arizona to west Texas.
It lives in the lowland gardens and the mountains in the summer. In the winter it moves to the deserts. It often nests in Oak Trees.
The Anna's Hummingbird is a full-time resident in the United States.
The Bahama Woodstar Hummingbird is an unusual visitor to southern Florida.
It normally lives in the Bahamas, but is one of the types of hummingbirds occasionally seen in Florida.
It has a green back with cinnamon undersides with a white breast. It has a rusty, forked tail.
The male has a metallic reddish-purple gorget. A female is painted here.
The Black-chinned Hummingbird is the western counterpart of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
These two types of hummingbirds are similar in appearance except instead of a ruby-throat the males have a black chin and their throat is a beautiful violet.
Their tail is notched and their bill is slightly down curved. The top of their head, back and sides are greenish.
The females also have greenish backs and heads with white chins and under parts. They may have fine specks on their throat.
Other than her down curved bill she looks very much like a female Ruby-throat. Her wings are a little bit longer.
The female builds her nest by herself in trees or large shrubs often in the fork of small limbs. The nest is only about 1 ½” in diameter. She lays 2 eggs that hatch in about 16 days.
When the babies have feathers the mother will often build another nest within sight of the first nest to raise a second set of babies. What a hard worker, she does it all by herself. But, it is great for keeping the species going.
The Blue-throated Hummingbird is one of the largest type of hummingbirds in the United States. It is around 5 inches, much larger than most of our other types of hummingbirds.
Our other hummingbird types are in the 3 to 4 inch range.
Bother male and female have two white stripes on their face. It has one eyebrow stripe above the eye. And a smaller, whisker white stripe below the eye.
It has a
large blackish colored tail with white corner. The male has a blue throat. It's belly is grey.
It is seen in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and sometimes Colorado.
The Broad-billed Hummingbird is seen in Arizona, New Mexico, western Texas, and Mexico.
It is one of the types of hummingbirds that come into the United States through Mexico.
Many hummers have dark bills, but the Broad-bill has a red bill with a dark tip.
The male has a dark metallic green body, but in poor light it will look black.
His throat is a beautiful blue.
The female is green above with light gray under parts.
The Broad-tailed Hummingbird breeds in the United States from California to Wyoming and south to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
It is frequently seen in the Rocky Mountains and it nests at high altitudes.
Some stay the year round in southern Arizona, Texas and some areas of the Gulf Coast.
It's crown and back are a dark green. It's sides are greenish. It's broad tail is also greenish.
The male has a rose-red throat.
The female has cinnamon on her sides and some spots on her throat.
It looks very similar to the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, but they live in different parts of the country, so there is no confusion.
The male's wings make a loud trilling sound when he is flying; this sound is not heard in other types of hummingbirds.
The Buff-bellied Hummingbird is seen fairly often in south Texas. A few stay the winter in Texas.
The male and female look similar.
They have a red bill that is black on the end.
It's head, back and upper chest is green. It's belly for which it was named is buff colored.
It has a rufous colored, forked tail.
The Calliope Hummingbird is seen in sub-alpine forests, especially near streams of southern Alberta and British Columbia.
They are fairly numerous in British Columbia through Montana, Idaho, Washington, Wyoming, Nevada or eastern California.
They however are not seen in the coastal areas, except sometimes on the coast of western Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.
They have a shorter bill than some other types of hummingbirds.
They have long reddish purple feathers on their gorget which they are able to flare out. Their white neck shows in between the long gorget feather.
They are often seen feeding on flowers in the in alpine meadows.
Attract hummingbirds to your yard with Hummingbird Flowers.
The Costa's Hummingbird has similar coloring to the violet throat of the Black-chinned.
However the blue-violet gorget of the Costa is flared and his head is the same violet color.
This type of hummingbird is found in desert areas of Nevada, Arizona, and California. They prefer the dry areas and build their nests far from water.
They often build their nests in cacti and yuccas. The Costa makes good use of the dry desert areas.
The Green Violet-ear Hummingbird is one of the types of hummingbirds that is seen less frequently in the United States. It visits Texas and it has been seen in Alabama.
Both male and female look similar.
It's entire body is a beautiful iridescent green.
It has a purple-blue patch by it's ear and a similar colored patch in the center of it's chest.
It has a bluish-green tail.
It is known to be aggressive and chases other hummingbirds.
The Magnificent Hummingbird, along with the Blue-thtoated Hummingbird are the largest types of hummingbirds in the United States. The Magnificent can get up to 5.35 inches. The Blue-throated can get up to 5.20 inches.
They both have blue throats. The Magnificent has a blue-green throat and a purple crown and is mostly dark looking. The female has greyish underparts.
Male and female both have a bright white stripe behind their eye, a long bill and a long tail.
They are seen fairly regularly in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. They breed in these areas. A few have been seen in Utah and Nevada at higher elevations. Some overwinter in Arizona.
The Rufous Hummingbird true to it’s name is rufous (a rusty orange color). The male has a bright orange-red gorget. His back, tail and sides are rufous color. They may have some green flecks on their head and back.
The female has rusty color on her sides and under her tail. She has small red to green-gold spots on her throat.
The Rufous Hummingbird is easy to identify because their rusty, rufous color is lacking in most other types of hummingbirds.
They are fairly numerous from Alaska to Mexico and in between. They live from the mountains to the lowlands. Some may winter on the gulf coast. A few have been sighted farther east late in the season.
You can hear them talking with a loud chirp and chatter when they come to your feeder. They are a noisy type of hummingbirds.
The White-eared Hummingbird is a less frequent visitor to the United States.
It lives in Mexico and South America, but sometimes comes to southern Arizona and New Mexico and is seen breeding there. It is rarely seen in west Texas.
Both male and female have a white stripe behind the eye. It's red bill has a black tip.
The male has purplish on it’s head and chin and a green gorget. The female has greenish spots on her throat.
This Hummingbird Painting shows him with a Columbine.
The Violet-crowned Hummingbird visits and breeds in Arizona and New Mexico. They favor sycamore trees and canyons at low to middle elevations. They often nest near water.
A few have been seen in Southern California. And some have overwintered in Arizona.
The male and female look very similar. They have a red bill with a black tip.
They have a striking white throat and a light colored belly. The top of their head is a violet-blue.
You are sure to see at least one of these types of hummingbirds where you live.
Put out a feeder to Feed the hungry hummingbirds.
Then you will have this beautiful gift of God coming to your yard!
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