Hummingbirds Found in Florida: (Pictures and Sounds)

Florida, known as The Sunshine State, is located on the southeastern coast of the United States surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean on the East and the Gulf of Mexico to the South.

The state of Florida has two seasons instead of the traditional four. The wet season begins in May and the dry season begins in October. The wet season consists of rain constituting 61% of the annual rainfall during this time with subtropical humid temperatures, while the dry season consists of temperatures in the mid 50’s to upper 70’s with low humidity.

Seasonal tourists who visit Florida’s beaches are not the only types of groups who are attracted and enticed by Florida’s climate. Three out of the sixteen hummingbird species found in Florida make regular appearances and are known visitors to the state. The hummingbird season in Florida peaks during the spring and summer months from March to August.

What types of hummingbirds are found in Florida?

  • There are 16 species of hummingbirds found in Florida.
  • Year-round natives: Ruby-throated.
  • Seasonal: Black-chinned, Rufous.
  • Rare: Buff-bellied, Broad-tailed, Allen’s, Anna’s, Bahama woodstars, Antillean crested, Broad-billed, White-eared, Green-breasted mango, Mexican violetear AKA Green-violetear, Blue-throated Mountain-gem AKA Blue-throated, Rivoli’s AKA Magnificent, Costa’s.

Categories of Hummingbirds

Year-round/Native Hummingbirds

This hummingbird classification is defined as hummingbirds residing in a group in Florida 365 days a year and do not migrate.

  • Ruby-throated

Seasonal Hummingbirds

These hummingbirds are in Florida temporarily as part of their migratory pattern. Some of these species spend either a season or the entire spring, summer, fall or winter in Florida.

  • Black-chinned
  • Rufous

Rare/Vagrant Hummingbirds

This hummingbird classification is defined as hummingbirds residing in a group outside of their normal geographic range when found in Florida. Not only do these species of hummingbirds have a wide variety of specific geographic ranges, they are also known to sometimes interbreed with each other, creating hybrids.

  • Buff-bellied
  • Broad-tailed
  • Allen’s
  • Anna’s
  • Bahama woodstars
  • Antillean crested
  • Broad-billed
  • White-eared
  • Green-breasted mango
  • Mexican violetear AKA Green-violetear
  • Blue-throated Mountain-gem AKA Blue-throated
  • Rivoli’s AKA Magnificent
  • Costa’s

Read on to find out more about each of these hummingbird species as well as where and when they can be found in Florida.

Year-round/Native Hummingbirds

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD – (Archilochus colubris)

Conservation Status: Least concerned
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Archilochus
Species: A. colubris

Ruby-throated hummingbird’s scientific name originated from Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist, who first listed this scientific classification as “Trochilus colubris”. It’s name changed over a hundred years later and was reclassified by Ludwig Reichenbach, a German botanist to “Archilochus colubris”, which is its current scientific name, meaning “top thief” or “sky spirit/sun-god bird”.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are extremely common year-round natives in Florida. While Ruby-throated hummingbirds are seen year-round, some Ruby-throated hummingbirds prefer to migrate.

Migrating Ruby-throated hummingbirds cause their ranks in Florida to swell as they are spotted starting in March through the end of October. Migrating male Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the first to arrive in Florida and the first to migrate south to Mexico and Central America for the winter. Females and juveniles are one to two weeks behind and mimic the path of the males.

According to the University of Florida, their breeding range extends from the middle of the United States in Kansas to the eastern coast and reaches as far North as the Saskatchewan Canadian Province that borders the United States then down to the southern edge of Florida. Their nesting season begins in April.

Male Ruby-throated hummingbirds have a striking iridescent blood-red gorget, stopping at the neckline. He wears a dull metallic green topside with a light gray underbelly and black wings. The Ruby-throated hummingbird is a smaller species of hummingbirds weighing less than 2 dimes and reaching 2.8 to 3.3 inches in length. Their lifespan is approximately 5 years.

Humm found in Florida ruby throated 2
Male Ruby-throated hummingbird
Photo by: dgen.photos
Taken: Oak Hill, Florida

The gorget on a male hummingbird is named after the protective metal piece in a suit of armor that covers the wearer’s throat to prevent injury when in battle. Since male hummingbirds are very aggressive with each other when fighting for their own territory, this name is appropriate and fitting to describe their physical attributes.

Female Ruby-throated hummingbirds have a white throat with some light stippling and are typically larger than the males. Their lifespan is approximately 9 years, almost double that of the male.

Female Ruby throat 3
Female Ruby-throated hummingbird
Photo by: dgen.photos
Taken: Oak Hill, Florida
https://youtu.be/44pbolyii3Y

There are two migration routes for the Ruby-throated hummingbird. The first migration route is a direct but exhausting nonstop journey southwest over the Gulf of Mexico to Mexico and then down to Central America for the winter. The flight distance over the Gulf of Mexico is over 500 miles or equivalent to starting in Miami, Florida and flying to Atlanta, Georgia. Although this is the direct “short” route, there are numerous obstacles faced by these birds.

Some, to mention a few, are not being able to rest, not allowed to refuel or eat and having to avoid the dangerous tropical Atlantic hurricanes while flying to their destination. To make matters worse, depending on how you look at it, they migrate during the dark hours of the night or are taking the “Red-eye flight”.

Researchers believe their small size makes the energy expenditure of their grueling trans-oceanic migration journey more taxing for males than for females even though they both double their body’s fat content prior to making the migration across the Gulf of Mexico.

The second migration route is over 2,000 miles flying along the coastline outlining the Gulf of Mexico. Although this is the “long” route, it allows them the opportunity to rest and refuel even though there are less food source guarantees along the way.

Scientists are unclear and continue to investigate as to why one group of birds would prefer to take one route over the other.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds prefer open woodland and are often seen in parks, gardens, and backyards. They are solitary birds except during mating periods when they are fiercely territorial and aggressive towards hummingbirds of other species. Even though these hummingbirds have an aggressive side they can still be eaten by predators such as large invertebrates, praying mantises, orb-weaver spiders, and dragonflies.

During a capture and release banding operation in West Virginia, the oldest living recorded female Ruby-throated hummingbird was 9 years and 1 month old.
See my article: 3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Seasonal Hummingbirds

BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD – (Archilochus alexandri)

Conservation Status: Least concerned
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Archilochus
Species: A. alexandri

Black-chinned hummingbird’s scientific name is in commemoration of Dr. Alexandre, a French doctor who was the first to discover this species in Mexico.

According to the University of Florida, Black-chinned and Rufous hummingbirds are occasionally seen in Florida during the winter. According to Sciencing.com, they begin their migration south from Canada starting in September and by November are seen arriving in Florida on their way to winter in Mexico.

During the northbound spring migration to Florida the Black-chinned hummingbirds will head towards their breeding grounds in the Northern United States during April and May.

However, leaving their winter residence in southern Mexico and moving north is extremely taxing on their bodies. They must brave the harsh weathers of rainstorms, gusty winds, hail and freezing temperatures. Cold fronts are powerful during the seasonal transition from fall to spring and pose the most risk. Difficulty locating food, decreased shelter options and longer travel distances create many challenges.

Therefore, expect to see the bulk of these hummingbirds during the months of November as they travel south and again in April and May as they travel north.

Their breeding grounds and habitat are closely related to the Ruby-throated hummingbird which include open woodlands, parks, gardens and backyards.

Male Black-chinned hummingbirds are identified by their royal purple gorget, showing a small glimmer of color right near the neckline mimicking a buttoned-up shirt. Since the male purple gorget or throat color is minimal, at times they will appear to look all black. There is metallic green on their backs and flanks with white on their underbelly. Their dark tail is forked and their bill is black. Their size is 3.25 inches to 3.5 inches in length.

Male Black Chinned ID
Male Black-Chinned Hummingbird
Photo by: sony_alpha_male
Male Black chinned AZ
Adult Male Black-Chinned Hummingbird
Photo by: hummingbirdsbysuprise

Female and juvenile Black-chinned hummingbirds have no gorget, but have a dark rounded tail with white tips and beige margins on the dorsal feathers that turn dark black as they mature. Their head and back reflect the dull metallic marbled colors of beige, greens, whites, yellow-green and dark browns.

Female Black chinned AZ 1
Adult Female Black-Chinned Hummingbird
Photo by: hummingbirdsbysuprise

Black-chinned hummingbirds hybridize and readily crossbreed with other hummingbird species. Black-chinned hummingbirds can live up to 10 years, which is extremely long in comparison to other birds and animals of similar size.

Because of their small size, Black-chinned hummingbirds are at risk of being preyed-upon by larger insect-eating birds. Black-chinned hummingbirds are known to make their nests near large, active bird nests, reducing the chance of predators around the nest by using a decoy strategy.
See my article: 10 Common Things That Kill Hummingbirds

While typically a territorial species, if Black-chinned hummingbirds find themselves in an area with a large population of hummingbirds and food sources of plenty, their territorial behaviors will be less aggressive and they will share.

Black-chinned hummingbirds have the smallest known genetic material of all living vertebrates or mammals.

During a capture and release banding operation in Texas, the oldest living recorded female Black-chinned hummingbird was 11 years and 2 months old.
See my article: 3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD – (Selasphorus rufus)

Conservation Status: Near threatened
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Selasphorus
Species: S. rufous

The Rufous hummingbird gets its name from the Latin word rubrum meaning “red” that is used to describe its reddish-brown coloring.

They are a west coast migrant hummingbird therefore their range exists from Mexico to Alaska. Rufous hummingbirds make the longest migrations of any bird in the world. They travel making a clockwise circuit of western America every year that is approximately 3,900 miles.

Rufous hummingbirds have one of the northernmost breeding ranges of any hummingbird in the world, migrating north from Mexico to Oregon, Washington, Canada and nesting as far north as Alaska to breed during the summer months. They are polygamous and will mate with several partners in a season.

During the fall and winter seasons, as the flock migrates south towards Mexico, some Rufous hummingbirds will winter along the Gulf Coast of Florida, however, most of the species will continue their migration and winter in Mexico.

Rufous as well as the Ruby-throated hummingbird are found in the Everglades National Park at the southern tip of the state close to Key West.

Male Rufous hummingbirds display an iridescent orange-red gorget with rusty-colored flanks and tail. They have a white to beige underbelly and a black bill. Males can also have green plumage with specks of green color on their rustic looking backs or on the crown of their head along with chocolate brown dorsal feathers. Their size is 2.8 inches to 3.5 inches in length.

Jace Rufous 1 WA
Male Rufous Hummingbird
Photo by: jace_the_bird_nerd
Male Rufous 7 OR
Male Rufous Hummingbird
Photo by: Kevin Walsh

Note: The iridescent orange-red gorget.

Male Rufous 4 OR
Male Rufous Hummingbird
Photo by: Kevin Walsh

Note: The gorget appears chocolate brown in this lighting, however, you can still see a glimmer of his iridescent orange-red gorget with some hints of yellow.

Juvenile male Rufous hummingbirds have a rustic look with small iridescent orange specks of color on their throats.

Juvenile Rufous hummingbirds are so similar in coloring and temperament to Allen’s hummingbirds that they are practically indistinguishable in the field. Therefore, identification is established by range rather than appearance.

Juv Rufous 2 OHIO
Juvenile Male Rufous Hummingbird
Photo by: Rekha Pawar

Note: His throat feathers are slowly coming in, displaying a few dots of color near his neckline and showing the first stages of adolescence. 

Juv Rufous 4 OHIO
Juvenile Male Rufous Hummingbird
Photo by: Rekha Pawar

Note: Preening flight feathers is an important daily routine to maintain hygiene and to keep the feathers flexible, strong, in alignment, and parasite-free.

Female Rufous hummingbirds are green and white with some iridescent orange feathers on their throat. Their tail is dark with white tips and an orange-red base. Female Rufous hummingbirds are slightly larger than the males in anticipation of producing offspring.

Female Rufous OR 1
Female Rufous Hummingbird
Photo by: Kevin Walsh

Rufous hummingbirds are highly territorial and are aggressive towards other hummingbirds and animals. They have been known to even attack squirrels and chipmunks that come too close to their nest. Their flying acrobatic skills can outmaneuver all other hummingbird species, making them extremely competitive at feeders.

Rufous hummingbirds have excellent memories and have been known to investigate the location of an old hummingbird feeder years after the feeder has been removed.

During a capture and release banding operation in British Columbia, the oldest living recorded female Rufous hummingbird was 8 years and 11 months old.

Due to habitat loss in the Pacific Northwest, Rufous hummingbirds are listed at “near threatened” status by the IUCN red list of threatened species.

During a capture and release banding operation in British Columbia, the oldest living recorded female Rufous hummingbird was 8 years and 11 months.
See my article: 3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Rare/Vagrant Hummingbirds

BUFF-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD – (Amazilia yucatanensis)

Conservation Status: Least concerned
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Amazilia
Species: A. yucatanensis

Buff-bellied hummingbirds are rare/vagrant visitors along the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle (also known as West Florida) to Texas during the fall and winter months. They have been seen occasionally in the southeastern part of Castellow Hammock Preserve & Nature Center in Miami-Dade County in south Florida near Everglades National Park.

Male Buff-bellied hummingbirds sport a bluish grey-turquoise gorget. They are identified as having a metallic iridescent bronze olive green back with a rusty golden-brown forked tail. Their dark brown wings can look black in certain lighting. They have an orange-red bill with a black tip and their underbelly is chestnut in color. Their size is medium build and ranges from 3.9 inches to 4.3 inches in length.

Female Buff-bellied hummingbirds are less showy and their plumage is duller than the males. The juvenile’s throat and chest show a dull grey tone in color.

They prefer to nest in large shrubs or deciduous trees such as Hackberry (the cousin to the American elm). This plant has dense foliage and forgiving tree branches useful for building a nest.

Juvenile Buff-bellied hummingbirds, both male and female, look more like adult females until they are differentiated as the male begins to acquire the iridescent feathers that are typical of this species of hummingbird. The juvenile’s throat and chest show a duller gray tone in color.

Buff-bellied hummingbirds crossbreed with Rufous hummingbirds.

During a capture and release banding operation in Texas, the oldest living recorded male Buff-bellied hummingbird was 11 years and 2 month.
See my article: 3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

See pictures of male, female and juvenile Buff-bellied hummingbirds here…..

Hear sounds of Buff-bellied hummingbirds here…..

BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD – (Selsaphoris platycercus)

Conservation Status: Least concerned
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Selsaphoris
Species: S. platycercus

The Broad-tailed hummingbird, though usually residing in Mexico and Guatemala during the winter, is a medium-sized rare bird occasionally seen in the Florida panhandle during the fall and winter seasons.

They have a migrant and non-migrant population that begins in the south of Mexico. The ones that migrate north to breed will do so in the springtime (ranging from late February to late May) and will pass through Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and reach as far north as Montana.

Once the breeding season is complete, Broad-tailed hummingbirds will once again head south to winter in Mexico and meet up with their non-migrant population.

Male Broad-tailed hummingbirds have an iridescent ruby-red gorget. Both males and females have green topside and pale underbellies with bright white eye rings and broadly rounded tails. Their size is medium build and ranges from 3.3 inches to 3.8 inches in length.

Female and juvenile Broad-tailed hummingbirds have no gorget, but have green topsides from their head to their tail and pale to beige underbellies with bright white eye rings and broadly rounded tails. 

This species of hummingbird favors habitats in the understory of mature forest woodlands such as pine and oak groves.

Broad-tailed hummingbirds prefer to nest in juniper shrub or coniferous plants including alder, aspen, cottonwood, scrub oak or willow. All of these have similar superb material properties for constructing a nest. These birds are known to return to the same nesting ground each year roughly 70% of the time.

Their breeding coincides with when the flowering native plants peak for maximum food resource availability. They are promiscuous and do not form any kind of a pair bond between the male and female birds. The females raise the young alone.

The Broad-tailed hummingbird has suffered a decline in population since the 1990’s, but presently, its population is stable, and has adapted to human habitat encroachment.

See pictures of male, female, and juvenile Broad-tailed hummingbirds here…..

Hear sounds of Broad-tailed hummingbirds here…..

ALLEN’S HUMMINGBIRD – (Selasphorus sasin)

Conservation Status: Least concerned
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Selasphorus
Species: S. sasin

The common name of Allen’s hummingbird is in commemoration of Charles Andrew Allen (1841-1930), an American collector and taxidermist.

Allen’s hummingbirds are commonly found migrating northbound from Mexico up along the Pacific Coast through California, Oregon and sometimes into Texas during the month of December and arrive at their breeding destinations in January. Their nesting season is timed to when these regions have the most rainfall which helps provide prolific nectar producing flowers for their offspring.

These hummingbirds are mostly seen on the west coast and in Texas, however some continue their migration and wander farther east into Florida being noted as rare migrants.

Male Allen’s hummingbirds show an iridescent orange-red gorget. They are green backed with a green forehead and rust-colored flanks, rump, and tail. When their tail feathers are fanned out you can see their chocolate-colored tips. Allen’s hummingbirds are 3.3 inches to 3.5 inches in length.

DSC00745 Male Allens WATERMARK 1
Adult Male Allen’s Hummingbird

Note: The iridescent orange-red gorget.

DSC00654 crop WATERMARKED
Adult Male Allen’s Hummingbird

Note: The gorget can appear chocolate brown in certain lighting. This is the same adult male Allen’s hummingbird featured above.

Female and juvenile Allen’s hummingbirds have similar coloring as the males, but lack the iridescent gorget.

Humm parents Mate to Nest
Female Allen’s Hummingbird
Photo by: aarongomperts

See my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

DSC01134 Male juv Allens WATERMARK use
Baby/Juvenile Male Allen’s Hummingbird

Note: This baby/juvenile male Allen’s hummingbird is on a tomato cage defending a feeder. His newly white fluffy down feathers are visible near his bottom.

Also, notice the nice fat reserves he has accumulated by being fed by his diligent mother which will sustain him through adolescence. 

DSC00998 baby WATERMARK use
Baby/Juvenile Male Allen’s Hummingbird

Note: On a tomato cage and hiding in a tomato plant near a feeder.

Juvenile Allen’s hummingbirds are so similar in coloring and temperament to a Rufous hummingbird that they are practically indistinguishable in the field. Therefore, identification is established by range rather than appearance.

Male Allen’s hummingbirds perform a striking, quick back-and-forth courtship dance resembling the movement of a pendulum. They have one of the most complex territorial dive displays of any North American hummingbird.
See my article: Hummingbird Dance: 5 Interpretive Explanations

Male and female Allen’s hummingbirds are not social birds. They do not associate with one another outside of breeding. Similar to a Rufous hummingbird, Allen’s hummingbirds are highly territorial and can be aggressive not only towards other hummingbirds but will also attack any species, even larger predatory birds such as hawks.

Their habitat consists of open woodlands, dry chaparral vegetation consisting of dense shrubs, thorny bushes and riparian wetlands.

Allen’s hummingbirds are absent at mountainous elevations above 9,000 feet due to the lack of hummingbird flowers that would otherwise serve as their nectar source.

During a capture and release banding operation in California, the oldest living recorded Allen’s hummingbird was 5 years and 11 months old when she was first captured in 2004 and again in 2009.
See my article: 3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD – (Calypte anna)

Conservation Status: Least concerned
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Calypte
Species: C. anna

Anna’s hummingbirds are named after Anna Massena, Duchess of Rivoli. They are a rare hummingbird seen throughout the year in Florida but are common residents to the western coast.

Male Anna’s hummingbirds are the only hummingbird species in North America with a red crown. They are identified as mostly green, gray, and magenta in color. The males have a flashier, more colorful iridescent magenta gorget and crown. Their size ranges from 3.5 inches to 4.3 inches in length.

The gorget on a male hummingbird is named after the protective metal piece in a suit of armor that covers the wearer’s throat to prevent injury when in battle. Since male hummingbirds are very aggressive with each other when fighting for their own territory, this name is appropriate and fitting to describe their physical attributes.

Male Annas 7
Adult Male Anna’s Hummingbird
Photo by: Kevin Walsh

Note: The iridescent magenta gorget and crown with a metallic green shiny back.

Adult Male Annas Stanford Dish Trail CA
Adult Male Anna’s Hummingbird
Photo by: rwm_inthewild
Male Annas 4
Juvenile Male Anna’s Hummingbird
Photo by: Kevin Walsh

Note: This Anna’s hummingbird could be a juvenile in those awkward teenage years or it could be during a molting stage.

Juv Male Annas OR
Baby/Juvenile Male Anna’s Hummingbird
Photo by: Kevin Walsh

Note: This baby/juvenile male Anna’s hummingbird is beginning to show his magenta head feathers near his temple along with some faint color starting to show on his gorget. Also, notice the newly white fluffy down feathers near his bottom as well as the nice fat reserves he has accumulated by being fed by his diligent mother. 

Female Anna’s hummingbirds are a pale green and are not as colorful as the males. They have a distinctive pale white line over each eye which is an identifiable trait.

Adult Female Annas at Gamble Garden CA
Adult Female Anna’s Hummingbird
Photo by: rwm_inthewild
Female Annas OR 1
Baby/Juvenile Female Anna’s Hummingbird
Photo by: Kevin Walsh
baby feeding cropped
Female and Baby/Juvenile Anna’s Hummingbird
Photo by: Mehta.vishal.360

Female Anna’s hummingbirds raise their young with no help from the males. Anna’s hummingbirds are commonly found nesting in Northern California climate ranges.

See my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

The courtship and dive displays performed by Anna’s hummingbirds are theatrical and entertaining. From the beginning to the end, the full dive display lasts 12 seconds.
See my article: Hummingbird Dance: 5 Interpretive Explanations

Unlike many northern temperate hummingbirds, male Anna’s hummingbirds sing during courtship (though the song is so high-pitched and squeaky, it’s hard to call it singing).

Anna’s hummingbirds hybridize, cross- breeding readily with Black-chinned and Rufous hummingbirds.

During a capture and release banding operation in Arizona, the oldest living recorded male Anna’s hummingbird was 8 years and 2 months.
See my article: 3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

BAHAMA WOODSTARS- (Calliphlox evelynae)

Conservation Status: Least concerned
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Calliphlox
Species: C. evelynae

Bahama Woodstars hummingbirds are a Caribbean native and their sightings are extremely rare in south-eastern Florida since they are mostly a non-migratory bird.

The three islands; Bahamas, Turks and Caicos are all close to Florida’s peninsula making it easy to have accidental rare vagrants visit the state.

Male Bahama Woodstars hummingbirds feature a violet-red gorget during breeding season while sporting a white collar. Once the breeding season is over these male hummingbirds molt and shed their vibrant throat color turning it a light dull grey making them look similar to females. This process is known as “eclipse plumage”. Their plumage is a dark olive green, white or buffed colored chest and underparts along with dark chocolate wings. Male Bahama Woodstars have a deeply forked tail and sport a short curved black beak. Their size ranges from 3.1 inches to 3.7 inches in length.

Female Bahama Woodstars hummingbirds plumage is not as vibrant in color and the tails are rounded.

Their habitat is widespread and consists of dry scrub lands, tropical evergreen forests and pine forests even though they are seen as a tropical bird species.

Bahama Woodstars look similar to Ruby-throated hummingbirds and instead of a violet-red gorget they show off with a royal purple gorget.

See pictures and hear sounds of male, female, and juvenile Bahama Woodstars hummingbirds here…..

ANTILLEAN CRESTED (Orthorhyncus cristatus)

Conservation Status: Least concerned
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Orthorhyncus
Species: O. cristatus

Antillean crested hummingbirds are another species found in the North American Caribbean region. Just like the Bahama Woodstars hummingbirds, Antillean crested hummingbirds sightings are extremely rare in south-eastern Florida.

Male Antillean crested hummingbirds are not known for their colorful gorgets, but rather for their sporting a head of armor with a rockin’ mohawk. They show off a charcoal grey toned body with a light grey throat mixed with flecks of ceylon blue and a turquoise green head. They have a long body with a short beak.

Some male Antillean crested hummingbirds have a dark olive green marbled back looking fully black in certain lighting. Their eyes and feet are black while sporting a narrow iridescent seafoam-olive green and dark ceylon blue headdress which covers part of their beak. Their size ranges from 3.1 inches to 3.5 inches in length.

Antillean crested hummingbird’s peak breeding season is from March to June, even though they breed all year round. The males are not creative and use the same displays of affection as they do defending their territory.

Their natural habitats consist of subtropical moist forests.

See pictures and hear sounds of Antillean crested hummingbirds here…..

BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD – (Cynanthus latirostris)

Conservation Status: Least concerned
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Cynanthus
Species: C. latirostris

Broad-billed hummingbirds are accidental vagrants to Florida and primarily migrate south during the fall and winter. They have been identified in the Florida peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic ocean. Most of their population stays year-round in Mexico and Central America. Currently, the Broad-billed hummingbird travels frequently to the United States near the southern Mexican border.

Male Broad-billed hummingbirds feature a bright blue-green gorget that spreads back towards its shoulders. Juvenile males show off a full charcoal dark grey body with flecks of metallic blue on their throat and a light green neck and backside. They sport a long beak that is bright orange-red with a signature black tip. Their size ranges from 3.25 inches to 4 inches in length.

Adult Male Broad Billed AZ
Adult Male Broad-Billed Hummingbird
Photo by: Aaron Gomperts

Female Broad-billed hummingbirds have a full colored dark bill and a white accent line above her eyes.

Juvenile male and female Broad-billed hummingbirds are predominantly metallic green on their topside with a white underbelly. Their tails are dark in color and forked.

Broad Billed 2 Madera Canyon AZ arron cropped
Young Adult Male Broad-Billed Hummingbird
Photo by: Aaron Gomperts

Broad-billed hummingbird nests are distinguishable because they do not decorate the outside of their nests with lichens but instead choose to construct their nests with outside grass fibers, bits of leaves and bark while using spider webs to glue and hold the nest together. The nest that the female builds hangs on a single long slender branch.

Astonishingly, unlike other hummingbird population counts, the Broad-billed hummingbird has shown an actual general population increase in recent years.

In Arizona, the oldest recorded male Broad-billed hummingbird was 9 years and 1 month old when he was captured and released from a banding operation.
See my article: 3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD – (Hylocharis leucotis)

Conservation Status: Least concerned
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Hylocharis
Species: H. leucotis

White-eared hummingbirds get its rooted scientific name from the Latin word (hylo) combining the terms wood or matter,” and (charis) derived from a Greek word meaning goddesses of beauty and grace; (leuco) in Latin means “white or without color” and (otis) meaning “ear”. The White-eared hummingbird’s scientific name is Basilinna leucotis, but its higher classification name that most people use is Hylocharis leucotis.

White-eared hummingbirds are another common resident in Mexico and Nicaragua. A few migrate north into Texas and into Florida during the months of November through January and are considered rare visitors.

Male White-eared hummingbirds have a spectrum of green colors on their back ranging from a Granny Smith apple green to dark emerald with patches of iridescent turquoise on their throats. In darker lighting, their crown and throat can appear black. They possess a distinct and noticeable white stripe that spans from the eye to the neck. Their bill is shorter than the average hummingbird bill and is half red and black. Their size ranges from 3.5 inches to 3.9 inches in length.

Male White Eared Hummingbird 2 Miller Canyon AZ
Male White-Eared Hummingbird
Photo by: jordanmartin_photography

Female White-eared hummingbirds are slightly duller in color than the males showing a bronzy green topside and dull gray underbellies with bright white eye accents.

Juvenile White-eared hummingbirds, both male and female, look more like adult females until they are differentiated as the male begins to acquire an iridescent turquoise on their throats and possess a distinct and noticeable thick white stripe that spans from the eye to the neck that are typical of this species of hummingbird.

They prefer a habitat that consists of pine-oak forests with tropical dry and moist coniferous forests. These climates provide warm summers and colder winters with constant rainfall and humidity.

See pictures and hear sounds of White-eared hummingbirds here…..

GREEN-BREASTED MANGO (Anthracothorax prevostii)

Conservation Status: Least concerned
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Anthracothorax
Species: A. prevostii

The scientific name of the Green-breasted Mango is in commemoration of Florent Prevost, a French naturalist.

These hummingbirds are native to Mexico and reside in tropical deciduous forests from Central America all the way down to Panama. These hummingbirds are accidental vagrants that make their way to Florida.

The first documented Green-breasted Mango hummingbird was recorded on the coast of Texas in 1988. There has been an increase in reported juvenile hummingbird sightings in the United States even though they are still categorized as vagrants.

Male Green-breasted Mango hummingbirds are large in size and feature a long sapphire gorget that stretches below their chest. This hummingbird displays a turquoise crown. Their shoulders and flanks are a dark olive green and the wings and tail are dark purple that can be mistaken to look black in dark environments. The Green-breasted Mango hummingbird’s tail when fanned out ranges from a royal purple mixed with red-orange to magenta colors. Their black beaks are thick and slightly curved downward. Their size ranges from 4.3 inches to 4.7 inches in length and weigh 7.2 grams.

Female and juvenile Green-breasted Mango hummingbirds have a mossy green back with black wings and a dark middle throat stretching from the throat to their underbelly. This stripe on their throat can change from black to a midnight bluish green depending on the reflection of the light.

See pictures and hear sounds of Green-breasted Mango hummingbirds here…..

MEXICAN VIOLETEAR (aka GREEN VIOLETEAR) HUMMINGBIRD – (Colibri thalassinus)

Conservation Status: Least concerned
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Colibri
Species: C. thalassinus / Mexican violetear

The Mexican violetear (pronounced Violet-ear) gets its name from the Latin word thalassinus meaning “color of the sea”.

These hummingbirds are native to Mexico and are located in tropical deciduous forests of Central America. They migrate and wander north from the tropical regions of Central America and are considered extremely rare when sited in Florida.

Male Mexican violetear hummingbirds are iridescent green in color with a show of bright violet ear patches on each side of their neck (hence the name “violet-ears”). The tail of this hummingbird is metallic blue-green with bronze central tail feathers that feature a black band underneath. Their size ranges from 3.8 inches to 4.7 inches in length and they weigh 5-6 grams. 

Female Mexican violetear hummingbirds usually are less colorful than the males and usually do not have iridescent and distinctive violet ear patches on each side of their neck. 

Juvenile Mexican violetear hummingbirds, both male and female, look more like adult females until they are differentiated as the male begins to acquire the iridescent violet ear patches on each side of their neck that are typical of this species of hummingbird.

Baby juveniles are easily identified by their white “fluffy butt” feathers that will disappear as they age.

These species of hummingbirds are found on the edge of cloud forests from Mexico to Nicaragua where they enjoy a high level of tropical humidity in their environment. This dark hummingbird is commonly seen in forest clearings and edges.

Mexican violetear hummingbirds are somewhat nomadic. Scientists do not know much about their migration patterns as they have not been well-studied. But of the data that has been collected, the Mexican Violetear is typically found in central Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.

Individual Mexican-violetears are found strayed as far north as Wisconsin, Michigan, and even Canada.

Like many other kinds of hummingbirds, the Mexican violetear hummingbird is a solitary nester. They forage for nectar and insects alone rather than in a flock, but groups of these hummingbirds can be seen around flowering trees, such as the coffee-shade Inga tree.

See pictures and hear sounds of Mexican violet-ear hummingbirds here…..

BLUE-THROATED MOUNTAIN-GEM HUMMINGBIRD aka BLUE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD – (Lampornis clemenciae)

Conservation Status: Least concerned
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Lampornis
Species: L. clemenciae

The Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbird aka Blue-throated hummingbird is a Mexican species and is considered very rare in Florida.

The best way to discover and locate a Blue-throated Mountain-gemis to visit the “sky island” mountain ranges of southeastern Arizona or the Chisos Mountains of Texas.

Male Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds feature a bright iridescent cobalt blue gorget and dramatic white stripes over both of its eyes.  His wings and tail are dark with the tips of his tail painted white. Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds expose a dull greenish-gray color all over its body emphasizing more patches of a grayish-emerald green on their head, neck, and the top part of the shoulder where the wing attaches. Their size is 4.3 inches to 4.7 inches in length and weigh 8.1-8.6 grams.

Male Blue Throated MT Gem 2 AZ
Male Blue-Throated Mountain-Gem Hummingbird
Photo by: rekhakpawar
Male Blue Throated MT Gem 3 AZ
Male Blue-Throated Mountain-Gem Hummingbird
Photo by: rekhakpawar

Female Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds usually are more drab-looking than the males and usually do not have iridescent and distinctive blue throat feathers. They have a double white stripe on their face with gray underparts.

Juvenile Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds, both male and female, look more like adult females until they are differentiated as the male begins to acquire the iridescent feathers that are typical of this species of hummingbird. 

Baby juveniles are easily identified by their white “fluffy butt” feathers that will disappear as they age.

According to The Cornell Lab, Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds are 3x heavier than the Ruby-throated hummingbird. This species is the largest hummingbird species to nest in the United States. 

Partially because of their large size, Blue-throated hummingbirds have the slowest recorded wing beat rate of any known hummingbird. It beats its wings 23 times a second while hovering compared to the average 53 beats per second. The hummingbird with an extended wingspan requires more effort to move its wings in a figure-eight motion than a hummingbird with a smaller wingspan.

Most North American hummingbirds have a courtship dance to entice a female and catch her attention before mating. Male Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds are an exception to the rule and do not show an aerial display. However, the females make an identifiable call and a sequence of short flights to the male signaling he has been chosen and she is ready for copulation.

Blue-throated hummingbirds are mountainous birds that prefer to nest on rock overhangs or on human residential structures. They are known to return to the same nest each year, stacking new nests on top of old nests resembling a tall tower.

Blue-throated hummingbirds are territorial and aggressive while protecting flowers with a high sugar content and will violently defend them from invaders. They are heavily insectivorous due to the energy necessities of their size, and as a result, eat more insects than any other hummingbird species.

They hybridize with other hummingbird species holding little to no judgment on choosing a larger species, such as the Rivoli’s aka Magnificent hummingbird or a smaller species, the Anna’s, Black-chinned, and Costa’s hummingbirds with which to procreate.

During a capture and release banding operation in Arizona, the oldest living recorded male Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbird was 7 years and 11 months.
See my article: 3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

RIVOLI’S HUMMINGBIRD aka MAGNIFICENT – (Eugenes fulgens)

Conservation Status: Least concerned
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Eugenes
Species: E. Fulgens

The Rivoli’s (pronounced: rivo-lee) hummingbird has undergone several name changes. In 1983 it was changed to the “Magnificent Hummingbird”, then to “Refulgent Hummingbird” only to have the “Rivoli’s Hummingbird” name return in 2017 when the species was split into two variations (Rivoli’s and Talamanca). Rivoli’s Hummingbird is named in honor of Francois Victor Massena, the Duke of Rivoli, by the ornithologist Rene-Primevera Lesson.

The Rivoli’s hummingbirds are normally found in the western parts of the United States in the mountainous areas of Arizona, New Mexico, and Central America. When they venture out of their normal radius and enter Florida, they are considered very rare.

Male Rivoli’s hummingbirds are somewhat dark in color except when they are shown in bright daylight, where their violet crown, bright blue-green gorget, and white eyespots are more apparent through iridescence. They are 4.3 to 5.5 inches in length and weigh 6-10 grams. 

They are considered the second largest hummingbird in the United States, behind the Blue-throated Mountain-gem which is the largest.

Adult Male Rivolis...humm guy
Male Rivoli’s Hummingbird
Photo by: thehummingbirdguy

Female Rivoli’s hummingbirds are slightly duller in color than the males showing a bronzy green topside and dull gray underbellies with bright white eye accents.

Female Rivoli HummbySuprise AZ
Female Rivoli’s Hummingbird
Photo by: Hummingbirdsbysuprise

Juvenile Rivoli’s hummingbirds, both male and female, look more like adult females until they are differentiated as the male begins to acquire the violet crown, bright blue-green gorget, and white eyespots that are typical of this species of hummingbird.

Juv Male Rivolis...humm guy
Male Juvenile Rivoli’s Hummingbird
Photo by: thehummingbirdguy

Baby juveniles are easily identified by their white “fluffy butt” feathers that will disappear as they age.

Their breeding habitat consists of building nests in evergreen coniferous trees such as pine, fir and juniper. They prefer to live in ravines while feeding in open meadows and nest in trees that overhang over streams and creeks.

They have the highest recorded heart rate of any living vertebrate ranging from 420 to 1,200 beats per minute.

Rivoli’s hummingbirds hybridize with other species of hummingbirds, even though it is rare, with Berylline, Broad-billed, Blue-throated Mountain-gem, and Violet-crowned hummingbirds.

During a capture and release banding operation in Arizona, the oldest living recorded male Rivoli’s hummingbird was 11 years and 2 months.
See my article: 3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRD – (Calypte costae)

Conservation Status: Least concerned
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Calypte
Species: C. costae

Costa’s hummingbird was named in 1839 by Jules Bourcier to commemorate Louis Marie Pantaleon Costa, the French ornithologist who was an avid collector of hummingbirds.

Costa’s hummingbirds are rarely seen in Florida. They are usually located in desert dwellings in the southern parts of the United States and Mexico.

Very little is known about Costa’s hummingbirds and their short migratory habits in comparison to other hummingbird species. They are coastal birds and only move inland to breed.

Male Costa’s hummingbirds have a bright reddish-purple cap and gorget. Their gorget has long streaming throat feathers, similar to a Calliope hummingbird. They have light greenish gray underbelly with green backs and flanks. Their size is 3 inches to 3.5 inches in length and weighs 2-3 grams.

Male Costa 6 AZ
Adult Male Costa’s Hummingbird
Photo by: hummingbirdsbysuprise

Juvenile Costa’s hummingbirds, both male and female, look more like adult females until they are differentiated as the male begins to acquire the iridescent feathers that are typical of this species of hummingbird. 

Male Costa 1 CROP GOOD
Juvenile Male Costa’s Hummingbird
Photo by: hummingbirdsbysuprise

Note: His bright throat feathers are slowly coming in.

Female Costa’s hummingbirds, like many female species, are not as vibrant and have a grayish-light green in color with a dusty white underbelly.

Adult Female Costas 1 CROP
Adult Female Costa’s Hummingbird
Photo by: hummingbirdsbysuprise

Baby/juvenile Costa’s hummingbirds are easily identified by their white “fluffy butt” feathers that will disappear as they age.

Costa’s hummingbirds are a desert-dwelling species and build their nests in open areas with scarce vegetative cover. They have been known to nest on the tops of cacti. The thorns of the plant act as a deterrent to predators that may attempt to eat the eggs or nestlings.

Their habitat consists of desert scrub and washes including grasslands where they thrive on desert plants or ocotillos.

Male Costa’s hummingbirds are extremely territorial and can come across as being the meanest sheriff in town, especially when defending “their” feeders. Their aggressive conduct is equivalent to the known quarrelsome and combative behaviors of the Rufous hummingbird.

Costas feeding war CROP hummsuprise
Adult Male and Female Costa’s Hummingbird
Photo by: hummingbirdsbysuprise

See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

Although Costa’s hummingbirds will defend nectar sources amongst themselves, they are subordinate to larger hummingbirds and will defer to them if challenged.

These hummingbirds have no known predators, however, the largest threat to Costa’s hummingbirds is human encroachment in the form of the desert being plowed and cleared for settlement and grazing.

They are known to interbreed and produce hybrids between Anna’s, Black-chinned hummingbirds and Blue-throated hummingbirds.

During a capture and release banding operation in California, the oldest living recorded female Costa’s hummingbird was 8 years and 9 months when captured and released in 2001 and again in 2009.
See my article: 3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Happy Hummingbird Watching!

Humm found in Florida ruby throated 2
Ruby-throated hummingbird
Photo by: dgen.photos
Taken: Oak Hill, Florida

Elizabeth Donaldson

Hi Everyone! I have always loved our backyard and have been fascinated with all the wildlife living there. I am especially amazed by the skill, strength, and beauty of hummingbirds. I hope this article answered your questions.

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