In this article, “3 Hummingbirds in Connecticut (Common & Rare),” the author, Melanie, provides a comprehensive overview of the three species of hummingbirds that can be found in Connecticut. The article begins by acknowledging that there are nearly 30 different species of hummingbirds in the United States, with some being common and others being rare visitors. The focus then shifts specifically to Connecticut, where the author reveals the three species that have been spotted in the state: Ruby-throated hummingbird, Rufous hummingbird, and Calliope hummingbird. Each species is described in detail, including their appearance and migration patterns. The author concludes the article by offering tips on attracting hummingbirds to one’s yard. Overall, this article serves as a valuable resource for bird enthusiasts in Connecticut who are interested in spotting these beautiful creatures.
1. Ruby-throated hummingbird
Image credit: birdfeederhub
Scientific name: Archilochus colubris
The Ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common hummingbird species in the eastern half of the United States. They have a green back and white underparts. Male Ruby-throated hummingbirds have a ruby red throat that can appear black in certain lighting. They are small and agile birds with long, slender bills and wings that beat rapidly, allowing them to hover in mid-air and fly backwards. These hummingbirds are known for their iridescent feathers that can appear different colors depending on the angle and lighting.
Spotting them in Connecticut
Ruby-throated hummingbirds can be spotted throughout Connecticut during the spring and summer months. They are the most common hummingbird species in the state and typically arrive in April and May, leaving in September. If you see a hummingbird in your yard, it is likely to be a Ruby-throated hummingbird as they are the dominant species in the area.
2. Rufous Hummingbird
Scientific name: Selasphorus rufus
The Rufous Hummingbird is known for its feisty behavior when it comes to sharing feeders and chasing off other hummingbirds. Male Rufous Hummingbirds are orange all over with a white patch on the upper breast and an orange-red throat. Females are green with rusty patches and a speckled throat. These hummingbirds have long, slender bills and wings that beat rapidly, allowing them to hover in mid-air and fly with incredible agility.
Spotting them in Connecticut
While the Rufous Hummingbird is primarily a species of the western United States, they are occasionally sighted on the east coast, including Connecticut. The sightings in Connecticut tend to be most frequent along the coast and typically occur during late fall and winter. While not as common as the Ruby-throated hummingbird in Connecticut, there is usually at least one sighting per year.
3. Calliope Hummingbird
Scientific name: Selasphorus calliope
The Calliope Hummingbird is the smallest bird in the United States and has an impressively far migration. Males have a unique throat pattern of magenta stripes that fork down on the sides. Females are plain with some green spotting on the throat and peachy tinted underparts. These hummingbirds have long bills and wings that beat rapidly, allowing them to hover in mid-air and fly with agility.
Spotting them in Connecticut
Calliope Hummingbirds are considered rare on the east coast, but there have been sightings in Connecticut. Even as recently as 2020, a sighting was reported in Fairfield. While uncommon, these hummingbirds do seem to wander over to Connecticut occasionally, adding to the diversity of hummingbird species in the state.
Attracting Hummingbirds To Your Yard
Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures and attracting them to your yard can provide hours of enjoyment. Here are some tips for attracting hummingbirds to your yard:
1. Hang Hummingbird Feeders
One of the most effective ways to attract hummingbirds is to hang nectar feeders in your yard. Hummingbirds need to eat constantly, and having a reliable source of nectar can encourage them to visit your yard regularly. Choose a feeder that has the color red on it, as hummingbirds are attracted to this color. It is also important to choose a feeder that is easy to take apart and clean, as regular cleaning is necessary to prevent the growth of mold or bacteria. Consider a saucer-shaped feeder, as they are easy to clean and don’t hold excessive amounts of nectar.
2. Make Your Own Nectar
Avoid unnecessary additives and red dyes by making your own nectar for hummingbird feeders. It is a simple and cost-effective solution. Mix plain white sugar with water in a 1:4 ratio (1 cup sugar to 4 cups water). Boiling the water is not necessary, as the heat from dissolving the sugar is sufficient. It is important to use plain white sugar, as other sweeteners can be harmful to hummingbirds. Avoid using honey or artificial sweeteners in the nectar.
3. Plant Native Flowers
In addition to providing nectar feeders, planting native flowers in your yard can attract hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are especially attracted to flowers that are red, orange, pink, or purple, as well as flowers with trumpet or tubular-shaped blossoms. Consider planting flowers such as bee balm, coral honeysuckle, and cardinal flower. These flowers provide a natural source of nectar and can create a beautiful and vibrant garden that attracts hummingbirds.
4. Provide Water
Hummingbirds also need water for drinking and bathing. While traditional bird baths may be too deep for them, you can provide shallow water sources specifically designed for hummingbirds. These can include misters, drippers, or shallow dishes with rocks or marbles for the hummingbirds to perch on. Providing a water source in your yard can attract hummingbirds and provide them with a much-needed resource.
5. Promote Insects
In addition to feeding on nectar, hummingbirds also need to consume protein in the form of small insects. These include mosquitoes, fruit flies, spiders, and gnats. To attract insects to your yard, avoid using pesticides that can harm the natural ecosystem. By promoting the presence of insects, you are not only providing a food source for hummingbirds but also supporting the overall health of your yard’s ecosystem.
Attracting hummingbirds to your yard can be a rewarding experience. By hanging hummingbird feeders, planting native flowers, providing water, and promoting insects, you can create a welcoming environment that attracts these beautiful and fascinating birds. Enjoy the vibrant flashes of color and the unique flying acrobatics of hummingbirds as they visit your yard.