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The Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) has been called the classic urban hummingbird. It has demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt to us encroaching upon its native habitat while expanding its range north and east exploiting the flowers that we plant. The song of the Anna's was among the first to be studied and is still the best known of all hummingbird songs. The Anna'a Hummingbird was named for Anna Massena, Dutchess of Rivoli. KEY CHARACTERISTICS A medium-sized chunky hummingbird with medium length straight black bill. The adult male is bright green to bluish green above and the gorget is rose red to coppery red, truly an exceptional beauty. DISTRIBUTION The Anna's resides primarily in southern Arizona, California and western Oregon. Having said that, Anna's do not migrate in the traditional sense and are prone to wander, having been spotted at one time or another in all but a handful of states.
The Berylline Hummingbird (Amazilia beryllina) is best described as handsome and is an annual but hard to spot visitor to the "Sky Island" mountains of southeastern Arizona and the Big Bend region of west Texas. It is named for the gemstone beryl. KEY CHARACTERISTICS A medium-large dark hummingbird with a glittering apple-green to turquoise-green throat and breast. The adult male's plumage on the throat and breast will appear as a glittering brilliant metallic. DISTRIBUTION Breeds from Honduras, El Salvador, and southern to western Mexico north to the Sky Islands of Arizona and occasionally in the mountains of the Big Bend region of west Texas. Common in the Sierra Madres.
The Black-chinned (Archilochus alexandri) is considered to be the western counterpart of the Ruby-throated. It is very abundant, adaptable and will be found from central Mexico to southwestern Canada. The Black-chinned will mostly be found west of a line from central Texas to the western border of Montana. KEY CHARACTERISTICS The male's gorget appears entirely black, however when light strikes it perfectly you will be rewarded with it's true color, a brilliant amethyst violet. The male also has a white collar to contrast with it's dark head. DISTRIBUTION Breeds from south-central Mexico north through western half of Texas, extreme southwestern Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, southwestern Colorado, Idaho, western Montana, eastern Oregon and Washington, southern British Columbia, and many parts of California. Winters as far north as the Gulf coast including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama/Georgia and Florida, but primarily in south-central Mexico and along the southwestern Pacific Coast of Mexico. Vagrants have been spotted in North and South Carolina, New Jersey, South Dakota, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ontario.
The Blue-throated hummingbird (Lampornis clemenciae) is the largest hummingbird that visits the U.S., nearly three times heavier than the Ruby-throated or the Black-chinned. It ranges from southern Mexico north to the Big Bend region of Texas, west over southern New Mexico to southeastern Arizona. The Blue-throated seldom strays far from canyon streams shaded by sycamores or maples and was named by French ornithologist Rene Lesson in honor of his wife, Clemence. KEY CHARACTERISTICS The Blue-throated is very large, has a long tail which is black with white tips, a rather small round head with a prominent white eye-stripe, and a relatively short, stout bill. The adult male has a cobalt blue gorget that can be difficult to see. DISTRIBUTION Breeds in the U.S. primarily in the Sky Island mountains of Arizona, southern New Mexico and the Big Bend region of west Texas. A lucky few have spotted the occasional vagrant in California, Utah, Colorado.
The Broad-billed hummingbird (Cynanthus latirostris) may be the most exotic looking and mild mannered that we will see in the U.S. Its broad tail is in nearly constant motion as it moves from plant to plant while seeking nectar or insects. Relatively common in southern Arizona and extreme southwestern New Mexico, it will be difficult to spot elsewhere in the States. We should consider renaming this strikingly beautiful bird as its common name comes from the species name which translates simply as "broad bill". KEY CHARACTERISTICS The Broad-billed is a rather small and slender hummingbird with a long neck, rounded head, a long very active tail and a long bill that at the base is rather broad. The adult male is very distinctive with glittering gorgets blending from a sapphire blue to emerald green. DISTRIBUTION Breeds from southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and west Texas, south to southern Mexico. This beautiful bird has also been spotted in California, central Arizona, central New Mexico, central and southern Texas as well as Louisiana. A bit of a wanderer, it would not be unheard of to spot this jewel almost anywhere in the U.S.


The Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus) is considered to be the most common hummingbird nesting in the Rocky Mountains and will be found in good numbers north to Wyoming and Idaho. They are very early migrants in the spring and don't seem to mind arriving before the snow has melted away. The species name means "broad tail" in Greek. KEY CHARACTERISTICS The Broad-tailed is a medium sized hummingbird with a long tail and a medium long straight black bill. The adult male has a brilliant gorget shading from hot pink to rose red, contrasting with a white breast. DISTRIBUTION Breeds from Wyoming and central Idaho south all the way to Guatemala. Any Broad-tailed spotted outside of Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico should be considered lost and provided a map to return home. Vagrants have been spotted from California north to British Columbia, Texas north to South Dakota and as far east as Indiana and Georgia.



The Calliope Hummingbird (Stellula calliope) is the smallest of all hummingbirds that breed in the U.S. in fact an adult weighs about the same as a penny! They are nearly silent which is ironic because their species name in Greek means "beautiful voice". KEY CHARACTERISTICS The Calliope Hummingbird is very small with a very short tail and a short black bill. The adult male has a gorget that consists of red to reddish-purple streaks over a white background which is very unique. DISTRIBUTION Breeds primarily in the higher elevations from northern Baja California north to south eastern British Columbia, east to western Montana and western Wyoming. While definitely concentrated in the Northwest, vagrants have been spotted in much of the central U.S. as well as the Southeast.

The Costa's Hummingbird (Calypte costae) is the nomad of the desert, thriving in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts much about this beautiful bird remains a mystery. Named in honor of Louis Costa, an early collector of hummingbirds. KEY CHARACTERISTICS The Costa's is a very small hummingbird with a very short tail and a short, thin, black bill. The adult male has an unmistakable "Fu Manchu" look to his deep purple gorget in that the corners hang down like a mustache. DISTRIBUTION Will be found breeding and residing throughout southern California, southern Nevada and south western Arizona. Vagrants have been spotted up the Pacific Coast all the way to Alaska, in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.
The Lucifer Hummingbird (Calothorax lucifer) has a very distinctive shape with a decurve bill and a long, deeply forked tail. Big Bend National Park in west Texas is where you want to go to see one in the U.S. but finding one in this vast wilderness will be challenging. Lucifer means "light bearer" in Greek. KEY CHARCTERISTICS This is a small hummingbird with short wings, long tail and a long, black decurved bill. The plumage is green and the gorget on the male is a striking purple that extends down into the upper breast. DISTRIBUTION Breeds from western Texas (primarily in Big Bend National Park), southwestern New Mexico, and southeastern Arizona, south to south-central Mexico.
The Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens) is deserving of its impressive name by its dramatic size and color. The adult males are a gaudy dark emerald with a brilliant metallic violet to purple crown. The Magnificent was formerly known as the Rivoli's Hummingbird in honor of Victor Massena, Duke of Rivoli. KEY CHARACTERISTICS The Magnificent is the second largest hummingbird to visit North America. It is slim with a long neck, bill, and tail. The adult males plumage will be a dark emerald and the crown will will appear metallic and range from violet to purple. Behind the eye will be a triangular white spot which will contrast with the dark face. DISTRIBUTION The Sky Islands mountain ranges of west Texas, south-east Arizona, and south-western and south-central New Mexico are where the Magnificent hummingbird breeds. Young males tend to be nomads and have been documented in a number of states including Colorado, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Minnesota, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.
The Ruby-throated (Archilochus colubris) is the most widespread hummingbird in North America and the most common species that breeds in the East. For many years it was considered to be the only species that would breed in the East. Still, if you draw a line from Texas to Minnesota and you want to see a Ruby-throated your best chance will be to look to the East. To reach these nesting grounds each spring, most take a direct route across the Gulf of Mexico, flying nonstop over 500 miles of open water. KEY CHARACTERISTICS The males have an iridescent ruby-red throat and a black patch that extends from below the bill to behind and below the eye. DISTRIBUTION Breeds in eastern North America north to southern Quebec, west to south-central Alberta, the eastern edge of the Dakota's, Nebraska, south-eastern Kansas, eastern Oklahoma and Texas, rarely in the southern tip of Florida. Winters mainly in the tropics from southern Veracruz west across lowlands to southern Sinaloa, to the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, Honduras, Western Nicaragua and western Costa Rica. Small number of birds winter along the Gulf Coast of the United States. Vagrants have been spotted in Colorado, California, New Mexico and even Alaska (That one must have really been lost)
The Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) has a temperament to match its beautiful fiery color. Its very aggressive nature can make him unwelcome at feeders if you want other visitors as well. Maybe the Rufous's temperament correlates to the difficult nature of the travels they endure each year with the annual migration as they breed further north than any other hummingbird and travel incredible distances to do so. KEY CHARACTERISTICS The Rofous hummingbird is relatively small with a medium-short bill that is all black. The plumage is a beautiful rust color (rufous) and may be speckled with green. You will definitely know when you see one. DISTRIBUTION Breeds from extreme north-western California, most of Oregon and Washington, central and northern Idaho, western Montana, most of British Columbia, north to coastal southeast Alaska. The Rufous possibly should be nicknamed The Wanderer due to the fact that they are strongly prone to wandering during the fall migration. At this time they could appear almost anywhere in North America. Maybe they are just taking their time to return to their winter homes primarily in Mexico or occasionally along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The Violet-crowned hummingbird (Amazilia vioiceps) is one of the most distinctive in all of North America due to its perfectly white underparts and brilliant red bill. This bird is very local to the U.S. nesting in southeastern Arizona along streams shaded by Sycamores in lower to middle elevations. KEY CHARACTERISTICS The violet-crowned will appear larger than the more common hummingbirds, have a distinctively white underparts and a coral-red bill with a black tip. The crown will display a blue to violet-blue color with the males being slightly more iridescent. DISTRIBUTION Breeds in southeastern Arizona and extreme southwestern New Mexico south to Oaxaca, Mexico. Vagrants have been spotted in central Arizona, along the California coast, northern New Mexico, southern and the upper coast of Texas.
The White-eared hummingbird (Hylocharis leucotis) is described as a pugnacious, strikingly marked, singer. Males are highly vocal, however they are very rare visitor in the U.S. spending time only in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas. KEY CHARACTERISTICS The White-eared appears chunky with a large head and a rather short, straight bill that is orange or red near the base. It's black cheek will be marked with a very distinct white eye-stripe. DISTRIBUTION Breeds in mountainous areas of southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, south through the Sierra Madres to southern Mexico and beyond. Occasionally vagrants wander into north-central New Mexico and central Texas.