Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird (Photo: USFWS)

Rich, rusty brown feathers and a flaming gorget set the 3-3/4-inch-long male rufous hummingbird apart from all other hummingbirds. Green-backed females don a more subdued plumage, but members of both sexes challenge interlopers with a mechanical-sounding chp, chp, chp. These birds call the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies up into Alaska home. Males assert their… Read more

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

A male ruby-throated hummingbird sits on a perch.

This 3 ¾-inch-long garden jewel known as the ruby-throated hummingbird makes its home in swamps, woodlands, parks, and gardens in much of eastern North America. It is the only species to nest east of the Great Plains. Members of both sexes emit a soft tchew to alert other hummingbirds to their presence. Males stake out… Read more

Costa’s Hummingbird

Costa's Hummingbird (Photo: Alan Vernon/Wikimedia Commons)

The hottest, most arid deserts of southern California and Arizona are home to the 3 ½-inch Costa’s hummingbird. Both the gorget and crown of the male blaze vibrant purple. A high-pitched tik often reveals the presence of territorial bird guarding his patch of blossoms. Female coloring of gray and green is more somber. Ocotillo, desert… Read more

Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird (Photo: Kati Fleming/Wikimedia)

At a tiny 3 ¼ inches in length, the Calliope hummingbird is the smallest bird in North America. The sparkling raylike magenta feathers of the male are unique among hummingbirds. Calliopes spend the brief summer at the highest elevations of the northern Rocky Mountains, where they can often be found foraging in meadows at the… Read more

Buff-bellied Hummingbird

Buff-bellied hummingbird by Harmony on Planet Earth / Flickr / Wikimedia Commons.

The bold, assertive personality of the 4 ¼-inch buff-bellied hummingbird makes it a garden favorite among the people who live within its restricted U.S. range in southern Texas. Strikingly different from any other bird, the buffbellies wear bronze-green feathers on its back and emerald-green feathers on its throat. The long chestnut tail is often fanned… Read more

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons)

These elegant 4-inch-long hummingbirds are considered the jewels of the Rockies because they are so frequently seen by residents and visitors alike. Their wing whistles and musical chirps fill the air of mountain meadows carpeted with larkspurs and penstemons. Every cabin that has a feeder is bound to be inundated by hordes of hungry broadtails… Read more

Black-chinned Hummingbird

A black-chinned hummingbird flies against a brown background.

This slender 3 ¾-inch bird is at home in a wide variety of situations in the western U.S. From isolated desert canyons to suburban homesites, a plaintive tchew note announces the presence of the black-chinned hummingbird. The name of the species comes from the velvety black feathers that make up the gorget, though males are… Read more

Anna’s Hummingbird

An adult male Anna's hummingbird flies against a dark background.

What Does an Anna’s Hummingbird Look Like? The husky, 4-inch-long Anna’s hummingbird inhabited the chaparral-clad slopes of the Pacific Coast when giant condors still graced smog-free California skies. Yet, it has surprisingly prospered along with rampant human development. Few hummingbirds have adapted as easily to the uneasy changes that replace savage wildlands with palaces of… Read more

Allen’s Hummingbird

Allen's Hummingbird (Photo: Creative Commons)

Native to the Pacific Coast from southern California to southwestern Oregon, the 3 ¾-inch Allen’s hummingbird sports a bronze-green back and flame-colored gorget. Otherwise, these demons closely resemble their rusty-backed cousins. While feeding and defending territories they give the same mechanical-sounding chp, chp, chp as the rufous hummingbird. Females are indistinguishable from female rufous. In… Read more

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