Different Species of Hummingbirds – An informational resource for learning about the different breeds of hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds are among the smallest types of birds and can only be found naturally in the Americas. Hummingbirds are so small that its smallest species weighs less than a penny.
Here are the different species of Hummingbirds and their characteristics:
Table of Contents: Allen’s | Anna’s | Berylline | Black Chinned | Blue Throated | Broad Billed | Broad Tailed | Buff Bellied | Calliope | Costa’s | Lucifer | Magnificent | Ruby Throated | Rufous | Violet Crowned | White Eared | Xantus
The Allen’s Hummingbird has an average weight of 3.13 g for male and 3.24 g for female. Also, resident birds are bigger compared to migratory birds.
The head and back of an adult male Allen’s hummingbird is usually covered with metallic bronze-green feathers. The throat area is copper-red, while the sides are reddish-brown in colour. The males of the species are generally smaller compared to their female counterparts.
Considered as the most common hummingbird in southern California, Anna’s hummingbird is one of only three species that lives permanently in the US or Canada. Anna’s hummingbirds are known to have a minimal song.
The average weight of a male Anna’s hummingbird is 4.31 g, while that of the female is 4.07 g. With this large size, the Anna’s hummingbird is the largest hummingbird in the West Coast.
An adult male Anna’s hummingbird has a metallic green back, dark rose-red crown and gorget, and greyish breast. Its female counterpart has a green back, greyish-white breast, white throat that has some red spots, and white tips on the outer tail feathers. Younger Anna’s hummingbirds of both sexes exhibit the characteristics of the adult female, although their throats may have no marks.
Due to the irregular breeding of its members in the US, the Berylline hummingbird is sometimes listed as an accidental species. It has an average weight of 4.87 g for males and 4.37 g for females.
The adult male Berylline is covered with an emerald green color, with some streaks of purple on the rump, and feathers on its wings, and tail. Its gorget is noticeably brighter green compared to its back. Interestingly, the adult female Berylline has the same physical characteristics as the male.
The average weight of the male Black-chinned is 3.09 g, while that of the female is 3.42 g. Generally, the female is larger compared to the male.
The adult male black-chinned has a metallic green back, crown, and breast; black gorget with purple throat band; and a white collar. This color characteristic makes Black-chinned the least colorful among all the US hummers. On the other hand, the adult female has a green back and crown; a white breast and throat that have some black spots, buff sides, and white tips on the feathers of the outer tail.
The average weight of the Blue-throated Hummingbird is 8.4 g, while that of the female is 6.8 g. The heavy average weight of the bird reflects its large size.
The adult male Blue-throated has a green back and crown, dark gray breast, bright blue gorget, and a dark blue tail that has white outer tips. The female Blue-coated also has a green back and crown, gray great, and white tips on the outer tail feathers. Both sexes have thin white stripes above and below their eyes.
The Broad-billed hummingbird has an average weight of 3.72 g for male and 3.4 g for female.
The adult male has a dark green back, crown and breast. Its gorget is bright metallic blue in color. And its bill is bright red-orange with a black tip. The adult female has a green back and crown, unmarked fray throat and breast, red-orange bill, and white tips on outer tail feathers.
The most unique characteristic of a male Broad-tailed hummingbird is the ability of its wings to create a cricket-like whistle while flying. To top that distinct ability, one female Broad-tailed hummingbird holds the record for the North American age at 12 years old.
The average weight of the male Broad-tailed hummingbird is 3.16 g, while that of the female is 3.6 g. With that disparity, female Broad-tailed hummingbirds are generally larger compared to males.
The adult Broad-tailed hummingbird has a metallic green back and crown, white breast, and a rosy gorget. It has a rounded tail. The adult female has a green back and crown, white throat and breast with some black spots, rusty sides, and green central tail feathers. The outer tail feathers of the female are rusty at the base, black in the middle, and white at tips.
The Buff-bellied hummingbird is a slowly growing species in the US, with most of its appearances recorded along the coastal states. The bird’s nest is usually built in low bushes that are less than 5 feet off the ground.
The average weight of the male Buff-bellied is 4.05 g, while that of the female is 3.67 g.
An adult male Buff-bellied has a metallic green back, crown, and throat; rusty sides, belly, and tail feathers; and a white eye ring. Its female counterpart exhibits a similar physical appearance.
The Calliope hummingbird prefers to live in high-altitude areas. Indeed, it can be seen in mountains as high as 11,000 feet. It usually looks for food within five feet of the ground. Its nests are usually built over creeks or over roads that are beside bodies of water.
The average weight of the male Calliope is 2.5 g, while that of the female is 2.83 g. The adult male has a metallic green back and crown and white gorget. On the other hand, the adult female has a green back and crown, white throat with dark streaks, buff sides, and tail corners that have white tips.
The Costa’s hummingbird has an average weight of 3.05 g for males, and 3.22 g for females.
The adult male exhibits a metallic green back, violet-purple crown and gorget, and a green breast. The adult female has a green back and crown, white breast and throat, buff sides, and white tips on the feathers of the outer tail.
The average weight of an adult male Lucifer hummingbird is 2.75 g, while that of the female is 3.08 g. Similar to Allen’s hummingbirds, the female species are generally larger compared to their male counterparts.
Adult male Lucifer hummingbirds have a metallic green back and crown, a magenta-colorer gorget, and a white breast. They have characteristic buff sides and a long, downward-curving bill. On the other hand, adult female Lucifer hummingbirds have a green back and crown, and a white breast and throat. They also have buff sides, a decurved bill, and white coloration on the tips of their tail feathers.
The Magnificent hummingbird has an average weight of 7.7 g for male and 6.4 g for female. This weight explains why Magnificent is the second-largest hummingbird in the US, next to blue-throated.
An adult male Magnificent has a dark green back, purple forehead and crown, metallic green gorget, and a black breast. Its female counterpart has an olive green back and crown, greyish breast and throat that exhibits faint streaking, and pearl-gray tips on the outer tail feathers.
Considered as the most common species that breeds in the eastern half of North America, the Ruby-throated is a highly inquisitive hummingbird that can live for as long as 12 years. It has an average weight of 3.1 g.
The adult male Ruby-throated has an emerald green back, ruby red gorget, fray flanks, and a forked tail with no white. The male is generally smaller compared to the female. The adult female Ruby-throated has an emerald green back, and a white breast and throat. it has a rounded tail with white tips. Aside from usually being larger compared to the male, it also has a longer bill.
Among all the North American hummingbirds, the Rufous hummingbird is considered to be the most ideal in terms of size-to-weight ratio. And on top of that record, it also holds the longest migration route among all US hummingbirds.
The average weight of male Rufous is 3.22 g, while that of the female is 3.41 g. The adult male Rufous has a non-iridescent rufous crown, tail, and sides, bright orange-red gorget, and a white breast. Its back can be rufous, green, or a combination of the two. The female, on the other hand, has a green back and crown, white breast, streaked throat, rufous sides and base of tail feathers, and white tips on the feathers of the outer tail. The characteristics of the adult female Rufous closely resemble that of the female Allen’s and Broad-tailed.
The average weight of the Violet-crowned hummingbird is 5.78 g for males and 5.19 g for females.
The adult male is distinguished for having an emerald green back , violet-blue crown, unmarked white breast and throat, and a red bill that comes with a dark tip. The adult female, on the other hand, is almost identical to the male, except that its crown is slightly less brilliant.
White eared hummingbirds usually thrive in high tropical mountains. They rarely breed in the US. The average weight of the male white-eared is 3.6 g, while that of the female is 3.2 g.
The adult male white-eared hummingbird has an emerald green back and breast, a purplish crown, blue-green chin, whitish ear stripe, and a red bill with a black tip. On the other hand, its female counterpart has a green back and crown, white breast and sides with streaks of green, and a characteristic white ear stripe. Its bill has a reddish colour that comes with a black tip, just like the male.
The Xantus’ is a Mexican hummingbird that is usually found in Baja, California. However, a nest of the bird was found in southern California. Also, in November 1997, a Xantus’ hummingbird was observed in British Columbia.