16 Enchanting Types of Hummingbirds Found in U.S.

Hummingbirds are nature’s tiny treasures, captivating bird enthusiasts and casual observers alike with their iridescent feathers and incredible aerial abilities.

While these diminutive birds are found throughout the Americas, the United States is home to an impressive variety of hummingbird species.

Here’s the 16 types of hummingbirds that grace the skies of the U.S., each with its own unique charm and characteristics.

1. Allen’s Hummingbird: The Coastal Gem

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Allen’s Hummingbirds are primarily found along the Pacific coast, from California to Oregon. These tiny birds are known for their stunning orange and green plumage, with males displaying a brilliant iridescent throat during the breeding season.

A study published in The Auk found that Allen’s Hummingbirds have one of the highest wingbeat frequencies among birds, averaging around 50 beats per second (ref).

Interestingly, Allen’s Hummingbirds are closely related to Rufous Hummingbirds, and the two species were only recognized as distinct in the 1940s. These agile fliers are known to be fiercely territorial, defending their nectar sources and nesting sites from intruders.

2. Anna’s Hummingbird: The Winter Wonderbird

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Anna’s Hummingbirds are a common sight in the western United States, particularly in California and Arizona. What sets them apart is their ability to thrive in cooler temperatures, often remaining in their breeding grounds throughout the winter.

In fact, a study by the University of California, Davis found that Anna’s Hummingbirds can enter a state of torpor to conserve energy during cold nights, lowering their body temperature and metabolic rate (ref).

These adaptable birds are also known for their striking appearance, with males boasting a brilliant rose-red crown and gorget. Anna’s Hummingbirds are the largest of the U.S. hummingbirds, weighing in at around 4-6 grams.

3. Black-chinned Hummingbird: The Understated Beauty

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Black-chinned Hummingbirds are widespread throughout the western United States, often found in mountain foothills and canyon lands. While their plumage may appear less flashy compared to other species, males still possess a striking black throat with a thin, iridescent purple band.

These birds are known for their remarkable flight abilities, capable of hovering, flying backwards, and even upside down.

4. Broad-billed Hummingbird: The Sonoran Specialist

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Broad-billed Hummingbirds are primarily found in the Sonoran Desert region of southern Arizona and New Mexico. These striking birds are easily recognized by their vibrant green plumage and distinctive red bill with a black tip.

While Broad-billed Hummingbirds are not as well-studied as some other species, they are known to be important pollinators of desert plants, such as ocotillos and agaves. These birds are also known to engage in a behavior called “trap-lining,” where they visit a series of flowers in a specific order to optimize their nectar intake.

5. Broad-tailed Hummingbird: The Mountain Migrant

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Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are a common sight in the mountain regions of the western United States, particularly in the Rocky Mountains. These birds are known for their impressive migratory feats, often traveling over 1,000 miles between their breeding and wintering grounds.

One unique feature of male Broad-tailed Hummingbirds is the distinct trilling sound produced by their wings during flight. This sound is caused by the tapered outer primary feathers vibrating as the bird flies, a characteristic shared with only a few other hummingbird species.

6. Buff-bellied Hummingbird: The Gulf Coast Gem

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Buff-bellied Hummingbirds are primarily found along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana, with occasional sightings in other southeastern states. These birds are easily recognized by their distinctive buff-colored underparts and emerald green backs.

While Buff-bellied Hummingbirds are not as well-studied as some other species, they are known to be important pollinators of various plants in their coastal habitats. These birds are also known to engage in a behavior called “nectar robbing,” where they pierce the base of a flower to access nectar without pollinating the plant.

7. Calliope Hummingbird: The Tiny Traveler

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Calliope Hummingbirds are the smallest breeding bird in North America, weighing in at just 2-3 grams. Despite their diminutive size, these birds are known for their impressive migratory feats, traveling from their breeding grounds in the western United States to their wintering grounds in Mexico.

One unique feature of male Calliope Hummingbirds is their elaborate courtship display, which involves diving from great heights and producing a distinct buzzing sound with their tail feathers. This display is thought to be a way for males to attract potential mates and defend their territories.

8. Costa’s Hummingbird: The Desert Dweller

Image Credit: Monica Lara/Shutterstock

Costa’s Hummingbirds are primarily found in the deserts of the southwestern United States, particularly in California, Arizona, and Nevada. These birds are well-adapted to the harsh desert environment, often nesting in cacti and other desert plants.

Male Costa’s Hummingbirds are known for their striking purple crown and gorget, which can appear almost black in certain lighting conditions. These birds are also known for their aggressive territorial behavior, often chasing away much larger birds from their feeding areas.

9. Lucifer Hummingbird: The Chihuahuan Rarity

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Lucifer Hummingbirds are a rare sight in the United States, primarily found in the Chihuahuan Desert region of southwestern Texas and southeastern New Mexico. These birds are easily recognized by their long, decurved bill and striking magenta throat.

While Lucifer Hummingbirds are not well-studied in the United States due to their limited range, they are known to be important pollinators of various desert plants in their native habitat. These birds are also known to engage in a behavior called “hover-gleaning,” where they pluck small insects from leaves while hovering.

10. Rivoli’s Hummingbird: The Mountain Monarch

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Rivoli’s Hummingbirds, formerly known as Magnificent Hummingbirds, are primarily found in the mountain regions of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. These large hummingbirds are easily recognized by their impressive size, with males weighing up to 7-8 grams.

One unique feature of Rivoli’s Hummingbirds is their ability to survive in high-altitude environments, often found at elevations up to 10,000 feet. These birds are also known for their aggressive territorial behavior, often chasing away other hummingbirds and even larger birds from their feeding areas.

11. Ruby-throated Hummingbird: The Eastern Jewel


Image Credit: Benjamin Birkhahn/Shutterstock

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the most widespread hummingbird species in the eastern United States, found from the Great Plains to the Atlantic coast. These birds are easily recognized by the brilliant red throat of the males, which can appear almost black in certain lighting conditions.

One impressive feat of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds is their ability to migrate across the Gulf of Mexico, a journey of over 500 miles that can take up to 20 hours of non-stop flight. These birds are also known for their ability to enter a state of torpor to conserve energy during cold nights, a trait shared with some other hummingbird species.

12. Rufous Hummingbird: The Feisty Fireball

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Rufous Hummingbirds are a common sight in the western United States during their migration, traveling from their breeding grounds in the Pacific Northwest to their wintering grounds in Mexico. These birds are easily recognized by their bright orange plumage and feisty temperament.

One unique feature of Rufous Hummingbirds is their ability to fly in a figure-eight pattern, a behavior that is thought to be related to their territorial defense. These birds are also known for their impressive migratory feats, traveling up to 4,000 miles between their breeding and wintering grounds.

13. Violet-crowned Hummingbird: The Sonoran Specialty

Image Credit: Matthew Jolley/Shutterstock

Violet-crowned Hummingbirds are a rare sight in the United States, primarily found in the Sonoran Desert region of southern Arizona. These birds are easily recognized by their distinctive white underparts and violet crown, which can appear almost black in certain lighting conditions.

While Violet-crowned Hummingbirds are not well-studied in the United States due to their limited range, they are known to be important pollinators of various desert plants in their native habitat. These birds are also known to engage in a behavior called “nectar-feeding,” where they hover in front of a flower and use their long tongue to lap up nectar.

14. White-eared Hummingbird: The Sky Island Specialist

Image Credit: Gerardo Aguilar Anzures/Shutterstock

White-eared Hummingbirds are a rare sight in the United States, primarily found in the “sky island” mountain ranges of southeastern Arizona. These birds are easily recognized by their distinctive white ear patch and iridescent green plumage.

While White-eared Hummingbirds are not well-studied in the United States due to their limited range, they are known to be important pollinators of various mountain plants in their native habitat. These birds are also known to engage in a behavior called “trap-lining,” where they visit a series of flowers in a specific order to optimize their nectar intake.

15. Berylline Hummingbird: The Mexican Vagrant

Image Credit: Keneva Photography/Shutterstock

Berylline Hummingbirds are a rare sight in the United States, occasionally wandering into the mountain ranges of southeastern Arizona from their native range in Mexico. These birds are easily recognized by their distinctive green plumage and red bill.

While Berylline Hummingbirds are not well-studied in the United States due to their rarity, they are known to be important pollinators of various mountain plants in their native habitat. These birds are also known to engage in a behavior called “hover-gleaning,” where they pluck small insects from leaves while hovering.

16. Blue-throated Mountain-gem: The Huachuca Highlight

Image Credit: Brian Magnier/Shutterstock

Blue-throated Mountain-gems are a rare sight in the United States, primarily found in the Huachuca Mountains of southeastern Arizona. These large hummingbirds are easily recognized by their impressive size and brilliant blue throat.

While Blue-throated Mountain-gems are not well-studied in the United States due to their limited range, they are known to be important pollinators of various mountain plants in their native habitat. These birds are also known for their ability to survive in high-altitude environments, often found at elevations up to 10,000 feet.

As we’ve seen, the United States is home to an incredible diversity of hummingbird species, each with its own unique characteristics and behaviors. From the tiny Calliope Hummingbird to the impressive Rivoli’s Hummingbird, these birds are a testament to the wonders of nature.

So the next time you spot a hummingbird darting among the flowers, take a moment to appreciate the beauty and complexity of these amazing creatures.

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.