Hummingbirds!

Few birds have been as little studied and as misunderstood as Hummingbirds. They are the smallest of all birds with a length ranging from 2" to 8". Males of most species are identified by their iridescent feathers. Females and immatures of both sexes are normally plain and nondescript with the immatures of both sexes resembling the adult females.

Hummingbirds are strictly a bird of the Western Hemisphere. They are found as far north as Southeastern Alaska and the Maritimes of Canada and as far south as Southern Chile. The majority of the approximately 320 species are found in the tropics. 

Only 15 species have been known to breed in North America with another 6 being classified as vagrants. Until recently, for instance, it was thought that Ruby-throated hummingbirds were essentially the only species of hummingbird found east of the Mississippi River.

Through winter banding activities in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and the District of Columbia, HBSG has documented fourteen species; Ruby-throated, Rufous, Black-chinned, Allen's, Anna's, Calliope, Buff-bellied, Broad-tailed, Costa's, White-eared, Green Violet-ear, Magnificent, Green-breasted Mango and Broad-billed.

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the search for new species will continue!

Hummingbird Species Accounts

Immature Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Immature male Ruby-throated Hummingbird 
(Photo © HBSG, Inc.)

Through our banding research and countless hours of observation we have developed the following species accounts and identification guidelines: 

 

© The Hummer/Bird Study Group, Inc. This site last updated 10/01/14