New Mexico Hummingbirds: 17 Awesome Documented Species

This article identifies and describes New Mexico hummingbirds, where in New Mexico they are seen, and whether they are year-round, seasonal, or rare vagrant residents.

Which Species Of New Mexico Hummingbirds Are Found In The State?

There are seventeen species of hummingbirds documented as seen in New Mexico.
Documented New Mexico hummingbirds, listed in order of frequency seen are Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Rufous, Calliope, Anna’s, Broad-billed, Rivoli’s, Ruby-throated, Lucifer, Violet-crowned, Costa’s, White-eared, Blue-throated Mountain-gem, Allen’s, Berylline, Cinnamon and Mexican Violetear hummingbirds.

Top Google-ranked websites recognize one additional hummingbird, the Plain-capped Starthroat, as a New Mexico hummingbird, despite the fact that the Plain-capped hummingbird species is not recorded as being seen in New Mexico on a national hummingbird sighting map.

These are the New Mexico statistics at the end of 2023, as reported by eBird.org.
Click the “Documented” link below for the current New Mexico stats.

Hummingbirds:Number Seen:Documented:
Black-chinned99,160Documented
Broad-tailed60,013Documented
Rufous27,207Documented
Calliope6,518Documented
Anna’s1,021Documented
Broad-billed567Documented
Rivoli’s420Documented
Ruby-throated142Documented
Lucifer128Documented
Violet-crowned123Documented
Costa’s90Documented
White-eared39Documented
Blue-throated31Documented
Allen’s7Documented
Berylline4Documented
Cinnamon4Documented
Mexican Violetear4Documented
 Plain-capped Starthroat0Not Documented
Total Seen:195,478
Hummingbird:Year-Round, Seasonal, Rare/Vagrant
Black-chinnedSeasonal
Broad-tailedSeasonal
RufousSeasonal
CalliopeSeasonal
Anna’sSeasonal
Broad-billedRare/Vagrant
Rivoli’sRare/Vagrant
Ruby-throatedRare/Vagrant
LuciferRare/Vagrant
Violet-crownedRare/Vagrant
Costa’sRare/Vagrant
White-earedRare/Vagrant
Blue-throatedRare/Vagrant
Allen’sRare/Vagrant
BeryllineRare/Vagrant
CinnamonRare/Vagrant
Mexican VioletearRare/Vagrant
Plain-capped StarthroatRare/Vagrant

For more information on New Mexico hummingbirds:
Read my article: New Mexico Hummingbird Migration

There are no hummingbirds classified as year-round residents in New Mexico; however, there are hummingbirds that are seen in New Mexico during the winter months.

This hummingbird classification is defined as year-round residents residing in New Mexico 365 days a year.

Contrary to popular belief, hummingbirds can withstand far lower temperatures than most people would expect.

Some banded hummingbirds have been observed at temperatures as low as -9 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of -36 degrees Fahrenheit, according to eBird.org.
See my article: 3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

There are 5 New Mexico hummingbirds classified as seasonal hummingbirds. They are the Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Rufous, Calliope and Anna’s hummingbirds.  

Hummingbirds that fit within this category are those that migrate through New Mexico on a spring or fall emigration basis.

Hummingbirds move south to spend the winter in Mexico and Central America in the fall, after migrating north in the spring to reproduce.

Due to their preference, an ailment, or advanced age, certain seasonal hummingbirds may spend the whole winter in the state.

Black-Chinned 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

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

Male Black-chinned hummingbirds:
The royal purple gorget resembling a buttoned-up shirt with a small flash of color right near the neckline is the distinguishing feature of male Black-chinned hummingbirds.

The male’s purple gorget or throat in some lighting at times looks entirely black.

Male-Black-Chinned-ID
Male Black-Chinned Hummingbird
Photo by: sony_alpha_male

Their length ranges from 3.25 to 3.5 inches, and they weigh between 2.8 and 5.6 grams.

The metal plate that shields the wearer’s throat during combat to prevent injuries is the inspiration behind the name of the gorget on a male hummingbird. 

This name is acceptable and fitting to characterize the physical characteristics of male hummingbirds, since they fight fiercely for their own territory.
Read my article: Hummingbird Gorgets Explained

Male Black chinned bird.whisperer UT
Male Black-Chinned Hummingbird
Photo by: bird.whisperer

Female Black-chinned hummingbirds:
Compared to their male counterparts, female Black-chinned hummingbirds are less colorful and lack a gorget and iridescent feathers. 

White tips and beige edges on the dorsal feathers, which turn dark black as they age, adorn their dark, rounded tail, which has a white underbelly.  

They have dull metallic marbled colors on their head and backs that resemble snake scales: beige, green, white, yellow-green, and dark brown.
Read my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

Female Black chinned AZ 1
Female Black-Chinned Hummingbird
Photo by: hummingbirdsbysurpise

Juvenile Black-chinned hummingbirds:
Male and female juvenile Black-chinned hummingbirds initially resemble adult females until the male starts to develop the iridescent feathers that are characteristic of this species of hummingbird.

Juv Black chinned 1 hummingbirdsbysuprise AZ
Juvenile Male Black-Chinned Hummingbird
Photo by: hummingbirdsbysuprise

Baby Black-chinned hummingbirds:
Baby Black-chinned hummingbirds are easily identified by their undertail coverts, which are white fluffy feathers near their bottom that will disappear as they age.
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

Baby Black chinned bird.whisperer UT
Baby Black-Chinned Hummingbird
Photo by: bird.whisperer

To see the current sighting map of the Black-chinned hummingbird in New Mexico, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Black-chinned hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

50% of all New Mexico hummingbird sightings will be Black-chinned hummingbirds.
On average, out of 10,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, 5,073 will be Black-chinned hummingbirds.

Black-chinned hummingbirds breed to the east of the Cascade mountain range. By employing a decoy tactic, they are known to build their nests close to larger, busier bird nests, hence decreasing the likelihood of predators nearby. 

Of all extant mammals or vertebrates, Black-chinned hummingbirds have the least amount of genetic material known to science. Due to their little size, they run the risk of becoming prey for larger birds that consume insects.
See my article: 10 Common Things That Kill Hummingbirds 

Particularly while protecting “their” feeders, hummingbirds come across as the most ruthless sheriff in the area due to their intense territoriality. To defend nectar sources full of blooming plants that attract hummingbirds, they will engage in territorial conflicts.

Although Black-chinned hummingbirds are a territorial species, they will become less aggressive and learn to share if they happen to be in an area with a high hummingbird population and food sources.
See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

Female Black Chinned and Broad billed fighting humbysuprise AZ
Female Black-Chinned and Male Broad-Billed Hummingbird 
Photo by: hummingbirdsbysuprise

The lifespan of a Black-chinned hummingbird is an astounding ten years, compared to other animals and birds of comparable size. 

Black-chinned hummingbirds easily hybridize and interbreed with other hummingbird species, including Costa’s and Anna’s. 

In Texas, during a banding and capture effort, the oldest known female Black-chinned hummingbird was 11 years and 2 months old.
See my article:  3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Broad-Tailed Hummingbirds:

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 scientific name of the Broad-tailed hummingbird is Selasphorus platycercus. This species got its common name from the notably broad tail of the males, which is a distinguishing feature among hummingbirds. 

This broad tail, when combined with the hummingbird’s flight patterns, creates a distinctive trilling sound that is also a characteristic of the species. The combination of visual and auditory traits played a significant role in the naming of this bird.

Male Broad-tailed hummingbirds:
An iridescent ruby-red gorget is seen on male Broad-tailed hummingbirds.

Broad tailed bird.whisperer UT
Male Broad-Tailed Hummingbird
Photo by: bird.whisperer

Males and females alike, the Broad-tailed hummingbird is characterized by its green upperparts, light underbelly, vivid white eye rings, and widely rounded tails.

They have a medium build, measure from 3.3 and 3.8 inches in length, and weigh 3.6 grams.

The metal plate that shields the wearer’s throat during combat to prevent injuries is the inspiration behind the name of the gorget on a male hummingbird. 

This name is acceptable and fitting to characterize the physical characteristics of male hummingbirds, since they fight fiercely for their own territory.
Read my article: Hummingbird Gorgets Explained

Female Broad-tailed hummingbirds:
The female Broad-tailed hummingbird is less colorful than the male and lacks a gorget and iridescent feathers.

Female Broad tailed 1 hummingbirdsbysuprise AZ
Female Broad-Tailed Hummingbird
Photo by: hummingbirdsbysuprise

Their underbellies are pale to beige, with vivid white eye rings and broadly rounded tails.
Their topsides are green, extending from the head to the tail.
See my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

Broad tailed Female ID
Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Photo by: sony_alpa_male

Juvenile Broad-tailed hummingbirds:
Male and female juvenile Broad-tailed hummingbirds initially resemble adult females until the male starts to develop the iridescent feathers that are characteristic of this species of hummingbird.

Baby Broad-tailed hummingbirds:
Baby Broad-tailed hummingbirds are easily identified by their undertail coverts, which are white fluffy feathers near their bottom that will disappear as they age.
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

To see the current sighting map of New Mexico’s Broad-tailed hummingbirds, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Broad-tailed hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

30% of all New Mexico hummingbird sightings will be Broad-tailed hummingbirds.
On average, out of 10,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, 3,070 will be Broad-tailed hummingbirds.

The Broad-tailed hummingbird travels frequently to the United States near the southern Mexican border.

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 during spring migration 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 depart and begin their southbound fall migration to winter in Mexico and meet up with their non-migrant population.

The Broad-tailed hummingbird favors habitats in the understory of mature forest woodlands such as pine and oak groves. They chose to nest on the branches of trees and have been known to return to the same nesting ground each year, roughly 70% of the time.

Their breeding time coincides with the peak time of flowering native plants for maximum food resource availability. Their favorite nectar-producing flower plants include Red Columbine, Indian Paintbrush, Sage varieties, Currants, and Scarlet Mint.

In terms of social behavior, Broad-tailed hummingbirds are generally solitary, especially outside of the breeding season. They can be territorial, with males often defending prime feeding territories from other hummingbirds.
See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

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

Broad-tailed hummingbirds hybridize and readily crossbreed with other hummingbird species, such as the Costa’s hummingbird.

The oldest living Broad-tailed hummingbird, a female, was 12 years and 2 months, recorded during a capture and release banding operation in Colorado.
See my article:  3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Rufous Hummingbirds:

RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD – (Selasphorus rufus)

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

The Latin word rubrum, which means “red,” is the source of the Rufous hummingbird’s name due to its reddish-brown color.

Male Rufous hummingbirds:
The orange-red gorget of a male rufous hummingbird is iridescent, and their tail and sides have a rusty hue. Their underside is beige to white, and their bill is black.

Along with chocolate brown dorsal feathers, males can also have green plumage with green spots on their rustic-looking backs or on the summit of their heads.

They weigh 3.2 grams and range in length from 2.8 to 3.5 inches.

Male Rufous 7 OR
Male Rufous Hummingbird
Photo by: Kevin Walsh

The metal plate that shields the wearer’s throat during combat to prevent injuries is the inspiration behind the name of the gorget on a male hummingbird. 

This name is acceptable and fitting to characterize the physical characteristics of male hummingbirds, since they fight fiercely for their own territory.
Read my article: Hummingbird Gorgets Explained

Jace Rufous 1 WA
Male Rufous Hummingbird
Photo by: jace_the_bird_nerd

Female Rufous hummingbirds:
The female Rufous hummingbird is less colorful than the male because it lacks a gorget and iridescent feathers.

In the wild, confusion may arise, though, because certain females have stippling or color specs along their throat line that resemble juvenile characteristics.

Female Rufous OR 1
Female Rufous Hummingbird
Photo by: Kevin Walsh
Female Rufous rwf1954 CA
Adult Female Rufous Hummingbird
Photo by: Bob Free

They are slightly larger than the males in anticipation of producing offspring.
They have one of the northernmost breeding ranges of any hummingbird in the world; migrating north from Mexico 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.
Read my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)
Read my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

Juvenile Rufous hummingbirds:
In the wild, juvenile Rufous hummingbirds and Allen’s hummingbirds are nearly identical in terms of color and behavior. 

Therefore, range rather than appearance is used to establish identity.
The juvenile male Rufous’ rustic appearance is attributed to the iridescent orange dots on their neck.

Juv Rufous 3 OHIO
Juvenile Male Rufous Hummingbird
Photo by: Rekha Pawar

Note: The 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.

Baby Rufous hummingbirds:
Baby Rufous hummingbirds are easily identified by their undertail coverts, which are white fluffy feathers near their bottom that will disappear as they age.
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

To see the current sighting map of Rufous hummingbirds in New Mexico, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Rufous hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

13% of all New Mexico hummingbird sightings will be Rufous hummingbirds.
On average, out of 10,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico 1,392 will be Rufous hummingbirds.

Of all the birds in the world, Rufous hummingbirds migrate within the United States for the longest period of time. Every year, they traverse 3,900 miles in a clockwise manner around western America.

This migratory pattern during the seasons coordinates their arrival perfectly while catching nectar and blooming flowers throughout the year, fueling their bodies for their long journey.

In order to support a healthy migration, hummingbird enthusiasts are very beneficial when they cultivate blooming plants to draw hummingbirds and supply feeders with homemade hummingbird nectar.

These friendly environments offer and guarantee safe trips in addition to a dependable haven for relaxation and refueling while on the road.

A large number of Rufous hummingbirds will choose to move south to Mexico rather than stay in New Mexico for the winter. Hummingbirds, however, can withstand far lower temperatures than most people think.

According to eBird.org, through branding practices in Wisconsin, the Rufous and Ruby-throated hummingbirds are documented surviving in temperatures of -9F and wind chills of -36F.
See my article: 3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Many New Mexico hummingbird admirers leave hummingbird feeders up all winter long to provide life-nourishing nectar to the most commonly seen residents: the Rufous and Anna’s hummingbirds. 

This selfless act also provides nectar to other injured or older hummingbirds that are unable to migrate.
See my article: 11 DIY Ways to Keep Hummingbird Nectar From Freezing

When it comes to other hummingbirds and animals, Rufous hummingbirds are fiercely possessive and hostile. They are known for being aggressive and bold, driving large birds and rodents away from their favorite feeders in addition to other hummingbirds.
See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

Male Rufous DIVE Bob Free CA
Adult Male Rufous Hummingbird
Photo by: Bob Free

It has even been observed that female mothers may attack squirrels and chipmunks that approach their nest too closely.

Due to their remarkable memory, Rufous hummingbirds have been observed to search for an abandoned hummingbird feeder years after it has been taken down.
Read my article: Hummingbird Adaptation and Remarkable Ability to Locate Food

Because of their unparalleled flying acrobatics, Rufous hummingbirds are fierce competitors at feeders, outmaneuvering all other species.

Rufous hummingbirds easily hybridize and cross-breed with other hummingbird species, such as Anna’s hummingbirds.

IUCN Red List classifies the Rufous hummingbird as “near threatened” because of habitat destruction in the Pacific Northwest.

In British Columbia, during a banding operation, the oldest living Rufous hummingbird was documented at 8 years and 10 months old.
Read my article:  3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Calliope Hummingbirds:

CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD – (Selasphorus calliope)

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

Calliope hummingbirds are named after a Greek mythological muse, who represented poetry and eloquence. Calliope means “beautiful voice” in ancient Greek.

Male Calliope hummingbirds:
The long, stunning row of feathers that protrude down the sides of the throat and their iridescent purple cap are characteristics that make male Calliope hummingbirds clearly identifiable.

These hummingbirds, which are 3 inches long and weigh 2-3 grams, have shiny green backs like many others. 

Calliope Male ID
Male Calliope Hummingbird
Photo by: sony_alpha_male

The metal plate that shields the wearer’s throat during combat to prevent injuries is the inspiration behind the name of the gorget on a male hummingbird.

This name is acceptable and fitting to characterize the physical characteristics of male hummingbirds, since they fight fiercely for their own territory.
Read my article: Hummingbird Gorgets Explained

Male Calliope 1 Bob Free CA
Adult Male Calliope Hummingbird
Photo by: Bob Free

Female Calliope hummingbirds:
The female Calliope hummingbird is less colorful than the male and lacks a gorget and iridescent feathers. Their head’s crown, or top, has a grayish-green hue.

The buff hue of the flanks refers to the sides, underbelly, and area beneath the wings.
See my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

Calliope Female ID
Female Calliope Hummingbird
Photo by: sony_alpha_male
Female Calliope 1 Anthony Lujan
Female Calliope Hummingbird 
Photo by: Anthony Lujan

Juvenile Calliope hummingbirds:
Male and female juvenile Calliope hummingbirds initially resemble adult females until the male starts to develop the iridescent feathers that are characteristic of this species of hummingbird.

Calliope Juv Male ID
Juvenile Male Calliope Hummingbird
Photo by: sony_alpha_male

Baby Calliope hummingbirds:
Baby Calliope hummingbirds are easily identified by their undertail coverts, which are white fluffy feathers near their bottom that will disappear as they age.
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

To see the current sighting map of the Calliope hummingbird in New Mexico, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Calliope hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

3% of all New Mexico hummingbird sightings will be Calliope hummingbirds.
On average, out of 10,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, only 333 will be Calliope hummingbirds.

Like many other hummingbirds, Calliopes use their feathers to manipulate their flight path in order to produce a variety of buzzing noises that serve as a type of language. 

The male will fervently fly back and forth and perform a “U” shaped courtship display to get the attention of the female when she is quietly perched. 

He will perform a vocal serenade for the female while swaying his body back and forth in front of her.
See my article: Hummingbird Dance: 5 Interpretive Explanations

A breeding area is established by male Calliope hummingbirds, who mate with any female that accepts their wooing.

In terms of social behavior, Calliope hummingbirds are generally solitary, especially outside of the breeding season. They are territorial, with males often defending prime feeding territories from other hummingbirds.
See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

The world’s smallest long-distance migratory bird is the Calliope hummingbird. Their springtime migration patterns resemble those of Rufous hummingbirds. 

Throughout their northward spring migration where they breed, they traverse the Pacific Flyways. On their southbound journey in the fall, they pass through the Pacific and Rocky Mountain Flyways towards their wintering destination in Mexico. 

During the breeding season, female Calliope hummingbirds select the tips of pine cones as her building site for her nest. Along with stealing materials from other birds’ nests to build her own, she will also disassemble and recycle previous seasons’ nests. 

Therefore, larger and more aggressive hummingbirds, such as Allen’s and Rufous hummingbirds, frequently chase and attack female Calliopes. Compared to other species, the Calliope keeps a low profile in order to evade these attacks. 

Calliope hummingbirds hybridize and readily crossbreed with other hummingbird species, such as the Costa’s hummingbird.

Calliope hummingbirds are especially susceptible to habitat loss and natural catastrophes like wildfires and climate change because they have a smaller wintering range than other hummingbird species.

The oldest known female Calliope hummingbird was twice captured during a 2007 and 2014 banding operation in Idaho. She was 8 years and 11 months old at the time of her capture.
See my article:  3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Anna’s Hummingbirds:

ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD – (Calypte anna) 

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

The Anna’s hummingbird, scientifically known as Calypte anna, gets its common name from Anna Masséna, the Duchess of Rivoli.

Male Anna’s hummingbirds:
In North America, male Anna’s hummingbirds are the only species of hummingbirds with a red crown. Their predominant colors are magenta, gray, and green.

The male gorget and crown are iridescent magenta, and they are very vivid and showy.

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

They weigh between 2.4 and 4.5 grams and have lengths ranging from 3.5 to 4.3 inches.

The metal plate that shields the wearer’s throat during combat to prevent injuries is the inspiration behind the name of the gorget on a male hummingbird. 

This name is acceptable and fitting to characterize the physical characteristics of male hummingbirds, since they fight fiercely for their own territory.
Read my article: Hummingbird Gorgets Explained

Adult Male Annas Stanford Dish Trail CA
Male Anna’s Hummingbird
Photo by: IntheWildwithRick

Female Anna’s hummingbirds:
Female Anna’s hummingbirds are pale green in hue, not as brilliant as the males. Although a showy gorget is more prevalent on the males, females can also have them, showing a tiny area of magenta.
Females are identified by the faint white line that usually covers each eye.

Female Anna’s hummingbirds raise their young with no help from the males.
See my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

Adult Female Annas at Gamble Garden CA
Female Anna’s Hummingbird
Photo by: IntheWildwithRick
Female Annas 2 kevs birdsnstuff OR
Female Anna’s Hummingbird 
Photo by: Kevin Walsh
baby feeding cropped
Female and Baby/Juvenile Anna’s Hummingbird
Photo by: Mehta.vishal.360

Juvenile Anna’s hummingbirds:
Juvenile Anna’s hummingbirds, both male and female, look more like adult females until they are differentiated as the male begins to acquire the bright red/magenta gorget.

Male Annas 4
Juvenile Male Anna’s Hummingbird
Photo by: Kevin Walsh

Note: This Anna’s hummingbird may be a youngster going through the awkward adolescent years, or it may be in the process of molting.

Juv Male Annas 1 Bob Free CA
Juvenile Male Anna’s Hummingbird 
Photo by: Bob Free

Baby Anna’s hummingbirds:
Baby Anna’s hummingbirds are easily identified by their undertail coverts, which are white fluffy feathers near their bottom that will disappear as they age.
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

Juv Male Annas OR
Baby/Juvenile Male Anna’s Hummingbird
Photo by: Kevin Walsh
Female Annas OR 1
Baby/Juvenile Female Anna’s Hummingbird
Photo by: Kevin Walsh

To see the current sighting map of New Mexico’s Anna’s hummingbirds, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Anna’s hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

0.52% of all New Mexico hummingbird sightings will be Anna’s hummingbirds.
On average, out of 10,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, only 52 will be Anna’s hummingbirds.

The only hummingbird to reside year-round on the Pacific Coast, the Anna’s hummingbird is a native of the west coast of North America.

Anna’s hummingbirds enjoy a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and fairly wet winters.

This species is a year-round resident in much of its range, unlike many other hummingbirds that migrate.

Many New Mexico hummingbird admirers leave hummingbird feeders up all winter long to provide life-nourishing nectar to the documented winter visitors the Anna’s, Rufous and Rivoli’s hummingbirds.

This selfless act also provides nectar to other injured or older hummingbirds that are unable to migrate.
See my article: 11 DIY Ways to Keep Hummingbird Nectar From Freezing

Male Anna’s are notable for their remarkable diving displays during mating season and their ability to thrive in urbanized areas.

The male Anna’s hummingbird executes dramatic and captivating displays during courtship and diving. The entire dive display lasts 12 seconds from start to finish.
See my article: Hummingbird Dance: 5 Interpretive Explanations

Unlike many northern temperate hummingbirds, male Anna’s hummingbirds sing during courtship along with making vibrations with their tail feathers to attract a female.

Anna’s hummingbirds protect their territory with elaborate dives targeted towards predatory birds and even towards people they perceive to be threatening.
See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

Anna’s hummingbirds hybridize and readily crossbreed with other hummingbird species, such as the Black-chinned, Costa’s, and Rufous hummingbirds.

The oldest male Anna’s hummingbird known to exist was 8 years and 2 months old when he was captured and released during a banding expedition in Arizona.
See my article:  3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

There are 13 New Mexico hummingbirds classified as rare or vagrant hummingbirds. They are the Broad-billed, Rivoli’s, Ruby-throated, Lucifer, Violet-crowned, Costa’s, White-eared, Blue-throated Mountain-gem, Allen’s, Berylline, Cinnamon, Mexican Violetear and Plain-capped Starthroat hummingbirds.

Hummingbirds that live in a group outside of their typical geographic range are classified as belonging to this category.

These hummingbird species not only span a vast range of distinct geographic areas, but they are also known to occasionally interbreed, giving rise to hybrids.

Although they are not in their usual range, reports of seeing these hummingbirds in New Mexico have been made.

Broad-Billed Hummingbirds:

BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD – (Cynanthus latirostris)

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

The Broad-billed hummingbird, scientifically named Cynanthus latirostris, is known for its distinctive broad bill, which is the origin of its common name.
Their broad bills are particularly adapted for feeding on a variety of flowers.

Although most of the population of Broad-billed hummingbirds remains in Mexico and Central America throughout the year, they are a Mexican species that regularly visits the United States close to the southern Mexican border.

Male Broad-billed hummingbirds:
The brilliant blue-green gorget of male Broad-billed hummingbirds stretches back towards their shoulders. They have a long, brilliant orange-red beak with a distinctive black tip.

Their length varies from 3.25 to 4 inches, and they weigh between 3 and 4 grams.

Male Broad billed 3 Anthony Lujan
Male Broad-Billed Hummingbird
Photo by: Anthony Lujan

The metal plate that shields the wearer’s throat during combat to prevent injuries is the inspiration behind the name of the gorget on a male hummingbird.

This name is acceptable and fitting to characterize the physical characteristics of male hummingbirds since they fight fiercely for their own territory.
Read my article: Hummingbird Gorgets Explained

Broad billed 2 Anthony Lujan
Male Broad-Billed Hummingbird
Photo by: Anthony Lujan

Female Broad-billed hummingbirds:
Generally speaking, female Broad-billed hummingbirds lack iridescent feathers and have a duller appearance than males.

Their bill is entirely black, with a larger white accent over their eyes. They are recognized by their mainly metallic green upperparts and white undersides.

Their tails are forked and have a black tint.

Juvenile Broad-billed hummingbirds:
Male and female juvenile Broad-billed hummingbirds initially resemble adult females until the male starts to develop the iridescent feathers that are characteristic of this species of hummingbird.

Male juveniles display a full charcoal dark gray body, a light green neck and backside with flecks of metallic blue on their throat.

Juv male Broad billed 1 Anthony Lujan
Juvenile Male Broad-Billed Hummingbird
Photo by: Anthony Lujan

Baby Broad-billed hummingbirds:
Baby Broad-billed hummingbirds are easily identified by their undertail coverts, which are white fluffy feathers near their bottom that will disappear as they age.
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

Baby Broad billed 1 hummingbirdsbysuprise AZ
Baby Broad-Billed Hummingbird
Photo by: hummingbirdsbysuprise

To see the current sighting map of New Mexico’s Broad-billed hummingbirds, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Broad-billed hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

0.29% of all New Mexico hummingbird sightings will be Broad-billed hummingbirds.
On average, out of 10,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, only 29 will be Broad-billed hummingbirds.

Broad-billed hummingbirds are native to the southwestern United States, Mexico, and down into Central America.

They prefer habitats such as canyons, riverine woodlands, and sometimes gardens or urban areas with suitable flowering plants.

Nests made by Broad-billed hummingbirds are identified by their lack of lichen decoration on the exterior.

Instead, the birds prefer to build their nests utilizing outside grass fibers, leaf fragments, and bark, and then utilize spider webs to secure and maintain the structure of the nest.

The female constructs a nest that is suspended from a single, long, thin branch.
See my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

Particularly while defending “their” feeders, broad-billed hummingbirds come across as the meanest sheriff in the community due to their intense territoriality.

They will engage in territorial conflicts to defend nectar sources that are home to blooming plants that attract hummingbirds.
See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

Two Broad billed 1 Anthony Lujan
2 Male Broad-Billed Hummingbirds
Photo by: Anthony Lujan

Surprisingly, the Broad-billed hummingbird has demonstrated a real overall population growth in recent years, in contrast to other hummingbird population surveys.

The future of the Broad-billed hummingbird, like many wildlife species, depends on the preservation of their habitats and understanding the impacts of environmental changes.

Conservation efforts and responsible practices in gardening and feeder maintenance can aid in their survival.

When the oldest male Broad-billed hummingbird was caught and released in Arizona during a banding operation, he was 9 years and 1 month old.
See my article:  3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Rivoli’s Hummingbirds:

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 scientific name for the Rivoli’s hummingbird is Eugenes fulgens. This species was formerly known as the Magnificent hummingbird, a term that perfectly captures its incredible grace and size.

The birding enthusiast Victor Massena, the Duke of Rivoli, was honored with the renaming of the Rivoli’s hummingbird. The common name “Rivoli’s hummingbird” was changed to recognize his contributions to ornithology and his love of bird research.

This renaming is a part of a larger trend in ornithology, which is a move away from descriptive names and toward names that recognize and honor notable figures in the discipline.

Male Rivoli’s hummingbirds:
Unless they are in direct daylight, the violet crown, vivid blue-green gorget, and white eyespots of male Rivoli’s hummingbirds become more noticeable due to iridescence.

They weigh 6–10 grams and range in length from 4.3 to 5.5 inches.

Rivolis Rekhapawar AZ
Male Rivoli’s Hummingbird
Photo by: Rekha Pawar

Rivoli’s hummingbirds are thought to be the second largest hummingbird in the United States, with the Blue-throated Mountain-gem being the largest.

The metal plate that shields the wearer’s throat during combat to prevent injuries is the inspiration behind the name of the gorget on a male hummingbird.

This name is acceptable and fitting to characterize the physical characteristics of male hummingbirds, since they fight fiercely for their own territory.
Read my article: Hummingbird Gorgets Explained

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

Note: There are still some white fluffy feathers near his bottom, however he has a full violet crown and a vivid blue-green gorget, indicating he is very close to being an adult and almost through the later stages of adolescence.

Female Rivoli’s hummingbirds:
The female’s more subdued coloration plays a crucial role in camouflage, especially during nesting, when they need to stay hidden from predators while incubating eggs and raising their young.

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

Unlike the iridescent emerald or blue-green seen in males, the females tend to have a more muted, olive or bronze-green hue.

The throat and chest of the female is pale gray or whitish, lacking the brilliant metallic colors seen in males. This area might have some speckles or mottled patterns.

Female Rivoli’s hummingbirds are generally similar in size to the males but can be slightly smaller.
See my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

Juvenile Rivoli’s hummingbirds:
Both male and female juvenile Rivoli’s hummingbirds resemble adult females until the male starts to develop the distinctive violet crown, vivid blue-green gorget, and white eyespots of this species.

Male Rivoli 2 Anthony Lujan
Male Juvenile Rivoli’s Hummingbird
Photo by: Anthony Lujan

Baby Rivoli’s hummingbirds:
Baby Rivoli’s hummingbirds are easily identified by their undertail coverts, which are white fluffy feathers near their bottom that will disappear as they age.
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

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

Note: The small patch of white fluffy feathers near his bottom, which is easily missed!

To see the current sighting map of New Mexico’s Rivoli’s hummingbirds, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Rivoli’s hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

0.21% of all New Mexico hummingbird sightings will be Rivoli’s hummingbirds.
On average, out of 10,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, only 21 will be Rivoli’s hummingbirds.

Rivoli’s hummingbirds are found in mountainous regions ranging from the southwestern United States through Mexico and into Central America. Their range extends as far south as Nicaragua.

Rivoli’s love to dwell in ravines; they nest in trees that hang over streams and creeks, and they graze in open meadows.

They construct their nests in evergreen coniferous trees like juniper, pine, and fir as part of their breeding habitat.

In terms of social behavior, Rivoli’s hummingbirds are generally solitary, especially outside of the breeding season. They can be territorial, with males often defending prime feeding territories from other hummingbirds.
See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

They are often seen at elevations ranging from 6,500 to 9,800 feet. Their preference for high-elevation habitats and dense forests makes Rivoli’s hummingbirds challenging to study and observe in the wild.

Though rare, hybridization between Rivoli’s hummingbirds and Berylline, Broad-billed, Blue-throated Mountain-gem, and Violet-crowned hummingbirds occurs.

The oldest known male Rivoli’s hummingbird was 11 years and 2 months old when he was captured and released during a banding expedition in Arizona.
See my article:  3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Ruby-Throated 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

Scientist Carl Linnaeus of Sweden is credited with giving the Ruby-throated hummingbird its scientific name. He initially classified the species as “Trochilus colubris.”

Its name was revised more than a century later when German botanist Ludwig Reichenbach classed it as “Archilochus colubris,” which is now its scientific name and means “sky spirit/sun-god bird” or “top thief.”

Male Ruby-throated hummingbirds:
The beautiful iridescent blood-red gorget of male Ruby-throated hummingbirds ends at the neck.
His distinctive features are black wings, a light gray underbelly, and a dull metallic green topside.

Male Ruby throated 11 mz13hummingbirds
Male Ruby-throated
Photo by: mz13hummingbirds

The Ruby-throated hummingbird is a tiny species of hummingbird, measuring 2.8 to 3.3 inches in length and weighing less than 4.5 grams, or two U.S. dimes.

They live for three to five years on average.

The metal plate that shields the wearer’s throat during combat to prevent injuries is the inspiration behind the name of the gorget on a male hummingbird.

This name is acceptable and fitting to characterize the physical characteristics of male hummingbirds, since they fight fiercely for their own territory.
Read my article: Hummingbird Gorgets Explained

Male Ruby throat 1 OHIO
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Photo by: Rekha Pawar

Female Ruby-throated hummingbirds:
Ruby-throated hummingbird females are usually larger than males, with a white throat stippled with light spots.

The oldest female Ruby-throated hummingbird on record, at nine years old, is nearly twice as old as the male life expectancy.
See my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

Female Ruby 1 TN
Female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Photo by: Paula Leftwich

Juvenile Ruby-throated hummingbirds:
Ruby-throated hummingbird juveniles, both male and female, have a white throat with faint stippling, just like their mother

As the males become older, they start to show some color around their necks, and finally their stronger red throat feathers take center stage and proudly show off a vibrant forget.

Juv Ruby throat 2 girlkitty MN
Juvenile Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Photo by: MaryLou Ziebarth

Baby Ruby-throated hummingbirds:
Baby Ruby-throated hummingbirds are easily identified by their undertail coverts, which are white fluffy feathers near their bottom that will disappear as they age.
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

Juv Baby Ruby throated 2 OHIO
Baby Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Photo by: Rekha Pawar

To see the current sighting map of New Mexico’s Ruby-throated hummingbirds, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Ruby-throated hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

0.07% of all New Mexico hummingbird sightings will be Ruby-throated hummingbirds.
On average, out of 10,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, only 7 will be Ruby-throated hummingbirds.

The Ruby-throated hummingbird migrates via two different routes in the spring and fall.

The first migration route takes them directly, via the Gulf of Mexico, southwest to Mexico, where they travel nonstop until they reach Central America for the winter.

Over 500 miles is the flight distance over the Gulf of Mexico. Despite being the direct “short” route, these birds must overcome many difficulties.
The total direct flight from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Panama City, Panama is 2,484 miles.

Not being able to rest, not having access to food or fuel, and needing to steer clear of the severe tropical Atlantic hurricanes while traveling to their destination are some of the challenges faced when flying over the Gulf of Mexico.

To exacerbate the situation, they migrate during the night or are conducting a “Red-eye flight,” depending on your point of view.

Even though both sexes double their body fat before beginning their arduous transoceanic migratory pattern across the Gulf of Mexico, researchers think that males’ energy consumption is more taxing due to their small stature.

The second land migration path is 3,439 miles long and follows the Gulf of Mexico’s shoreline. Even though there are fewer guarantees of food sources along the way, taking the “long” route gives them the chance to stop and replenish.

Scientists are unclear and continue to investigate why one group of birds would prefer to take one route over the other.
Read my article: Hummingbird Migration in New Mexico

The most likely hummingbirds to be seen in a New Mexico winter would be the Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, or Rufous hummingbirds.

The majority of people are unaware of how tolerant hummingbirds are of chilly weather.

According to eBird.org, through branding practices in Wisconsin, the Ruby-throated and Rufous hummingbirds have been documented surviving in temperatures of -9F and wind chills of -36F.
Read my article: 3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

To provide the many hummingbirds that spend the winter in New Mexico access to life-sustaining nectar, several New Mexico hummingbird enthusiasts keep their hummingbird feeders up all winter long.

This altruistic deed also supplies nectar to other migrating species that are too injured or elderly to travel.
Read my article: 11 DIY Ways to Keep Hummingbird Nectar From Freezing

The Ruby-throated hummingbird is a common sight in parks, gardens, and backyards. It prefers open forests. Except for the breeding season, when they become ferociously territorial and hostile against hummingbirds of other species, they are solitary birds.

Despite their aggressive nature, these hummingbirds are eaten by predators like dragonflies, big crustaceans, praying mantises, and orb-weaver spiders.
Read my article: 10 Common Things That Kill Hummingbirds

Nine years and one month is the oldest known living female Ruby-throated hummingbird, found during a capture and release banding operation in West Virginia.
Read my article:  3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Lucifer Hummingbirds:

LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD – (Calothorax lucifer)

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

The scientific name of the Lucifer hummingbird is Calothorax lucifer.

This species received its common name, “Lucifer,” not due to any ominous associations, but rather because of its striking and distinctive appearance.

The word “Lucifer” historically means “light-bringer” or “morning star,” and this name likely refers to the male’s iridescent plumage, which shines brilliantly in the sunlight.

The name is thus a nod to the exceptional and eye-catching beauty of this bird, rather than any negative connotation.

Male Lucifer hummingbirds:
An iridescent royal purple gorget flares down on both sides of the throat in male Lucifer hummingbirds.

Male Lucifer 3 Anthony Lujan
Male Lucifer Hummingbird
Photo by: Anthony Lujan

Their back, head, and breast are green, and their bill is black with a small bend. They have deeply forked tails that are only seen when they flare or spread their tail feathers to move in the air.

They weigh between 3 and 4 grams and have a length of 3.5 inches.

The metal plate that shields the wearer’s throat during combat to prevent injuries is the inspiration behind the name of the gorget on a male hummingbird.

This name is acceptable and fitting to characterize the physical characteristics of male hummingbirds since they fight fiercely for their own territory.
Read my article: Hummingbird Gorgets Explained

Female Lucifer hummingbirds:
Female Lucifer hummingbirds have a cinnamon-buffy underbelly and a paler grayish-green head color.

The hue of their back wings is a dark chocolate. There is a little streak of brown under their eyes. Their tails are shorter than males.
See my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

Juvenile Lucifer hummingbirds:
Both male and female juvenile Lucifer hummingbirds initially resemble adult females until the male starts to develop the iridescent feathers that are characteristic of this species of hummingbird.

Baby Lucifer hummingbirds:Baby Lucifer hummingbirds are easily identified by their undertail coverts, which are white fluffy feathers near their bottom that disappear as they age.
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

To see the current sighting map of New Mexico’s Lucifer hummingbirds, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Lucifer hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

0.07% of all New Mexico hummingbird sightings will be Lucifer hummingbirds. hummingbirds.
On average, out of 10,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, only 7 will be Lucifer hummingbirds.

The Lucifer hummingbird is native to arid regions and desert scrublands. Its range extends from the southwestern United States, particularly in parts of Texas and Arizona, down through Mexico.

These birds are adapted to dry environments and are often found in areas with sparse vegetation but abundant in flowering plants that are crucial for their nectar diet.

In terms of social behavior, Lucifer hummingbirds are generally solitary, especially outside of the breeding season. They are territorial, with males often defending prime feeding territories from other hummingbirds.
See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

It is amazing to see the Lucifer hummingbird’s mating habits. To entice females, males engage in complex courtship rituals that include aerial dives and flashing their iridescent neck patch in the sun.

Following the mating process, the female is responsible for building the nest and raising the offspring.

Female Lucifer hummingbirds are known for constructing their nests on rocky, arid, and steep hillsides, atop cholla, ocotillo, or lechuguilla bushes.

The Cholla bush refers to various species of cacti in the genus Cylindropuntia.

The Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) is not a true cactus, although it is often mistaken for one due to its appearance and its habitat in arid regions alongside cacti. Ocotillos belong to the family Fouquieriaceae, whereas true cacti belong to the family Cactaceae.

This serves as the nesting sites for Lucifer hummingbirds, making them particularly adapted to desert environments.

Using plant fibers and spider silk, the female constructs a tiny, cup-shaped nest, which is typically found in a protective area such as a bush or tree.

Lucifers often construct their nests on the “stalks” of the succulent lechugilla, which can reach heights of 2 to 15 feet.

These plants’ strong, pliable stalks that extend far above the ground give them height, providing an exceptional and ideal setting for constructing a nest that is secure from predators and is unnoticeable.

She incubates the two white eggs she lays for almost two weeks. The chicks are totally reliant on their mother for safety and sustenance once they hatch.

She incubates the two white eggs she lays for almost two weeks. The chicks are totally reliant on their mother for safety and sustenance once they hatch.

The Lucifer hummingbird is not listed as endangered or threatened. However, like many species, they are potentially vulnerable to habitat loss and environmental changes.

Preservation of their natural habitats, particularly in arid and desert regions, is crucial for their continued survival.

Lucifer hummingbirds have several adaptations that enable it to thrive in dry environments. Its ability to efficiently find and utilize nectar sources is vital in habitats where food sources may be scattered.

Furthermore, like many desert-adapted birds, Lucifer hummingbirds are efficient in their water usage and can tolerate higher temperatures than many other bird species.

Many members of the migratory Lucifer hummingbird species spend the winter in Mexico to the south. The availability of food and the state of the environment affects the timing and scope of these migrations.

In areas where their habitats overlap with human settlements, Lucifer hummingbirds visit gardens and feeders that offer nectar.

In areas where their habitats overlap with human settlements, Lucifer hummingbirds visit gardens and feeders that offer nectar.

This interaction provides an opportunity for bird enthusiasts and naturalists to observe these birds up close. However, it is essential to ensure that feeders are kept clean and filled with appropriate nectar to prevent disease and provide a reliable food source for the birds.

In Texas, a capture and release banding operation resulted in the oldest male Lucifer hummingbird ever reported to be 7 years and 5 months old.
See my article:  3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Violet-crowned Hummingbirds:

VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD – (Amazilia voliceps)

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

The scientific name of the Violet-crowned hummingbird is Amazilia violiceps.

The origin of its common name comes from its distinctive vivid purple crown on its head (head feather cap), which gives them their name and is easily noticeable, differentiating it from other hummingbird species.

This vibrant crown is the source of both the common and scientific names, with “violiceps” in Latin roughly translating to “violet-headed.”

This naming convention, where a prominent physical feature of the species is reflected in its name, is common in ornithology and helps in the easy identification and classification of bird species.

Male Violet-crowned hummingbirds:
Male Violet-crowned hummingbirds are recognized by their iridescent violet or purple crown, or cap, made of head feathers.

Violet crowned AZ
Male Violet-Crowned Hummingbird
Photo by: hummingbirdsbysuprise

They have a white underbelly that stretches the entire length of their body, covering the bottom of their beak, and a gray-green pattern on their back that resembles fish scales.

Their length ranges from 3 to 3.9 inches, and they weigh about 5 grams.

The Violet-crowned hummingbird lacks the iridescent gorget and ear patch patterns found on most other hummingbirds.

Female Violet-crowned hummingbirds:
Unlike the male, the female Violet-crowned hummingbird lacks the vibrant violet crown.
She has a more subdued color palette, featuring a pale gray or whitish throat and underparts.

Her upperparts are a duller green compared to the male, providing camouflage among foliage to protect the nest’s discovery by predators.

The tail is typically dark, and fanned out during flight, aiding in quick and agile maneuvers.
Read my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

Juvenile Violet-crowned hummingbirds:
Both male and female juvenile Violet-crowned hummingbirds initially resemble adult females until the male starts to develop the iridescent feathers that are characteristic of this species of hummingbird.

Baby Violet-crowned hummingbirds:
Baby Violet-crowned hummingbirds are easily identified by their undertail coverts, which are white fluffy feathers near their bottom that will disappear as they age.
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

To see the current sighting map of New Mexico’s Violet-crowned hummingbirds, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Violet-crowned hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

0.06% of all New Mexico hummingbird sightings will be Violet-crowned hummingbirds. hummingbirds.
On average, out of 10,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, only 6 will be Violet-crowned hummingbirds.

The native range of Violet-crowned hummingbirds stretches from the southwest of the United States to western Mexico. They are found in wooded regions close to rivers since they like riparian habitats.

These habitats are rich in flowering plants, which are essential to their diet of nectar. They are also found in open forests and, rarely, in flower-rich suburban gardens.

The Violet-crowned hummingbird used to migrate between the southwest region of the United States and Mexico. However, their migratory patterns have undergone a noticeable change.

These hummingbirds are spending more time overwintering in the southern United States, and when they migrate north, their habitat range is progressively expanding yearly.

The availability of food sources in these new places and climate change are two possible causes of this development.

In terms of social behavior, Violet-crowned hummingbirds are generally solitary, especially outside of the breeding season. They can be territorial, with males often defending prime feeding territories from other hummingbirds.
See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

In Arizona, a capture and release banding operation resulted in the oldest Violet-crowned hummingbird ever reported to be 6 years and 1 month old.
See my article:  3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Costa’s Hummingbirds:

COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRD – (Calypte costae)

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

The scientific name of the Costa’s hummingbird is Calypte costae.

Jules Bourcier named the Costa’s hummingbird in 1839 in honor of Louis Marie Pantaleon Costa, a French naturalist, and ardent hummingbird collector.
He was recognized for his contributions to the field, and thus, the bird was named in his honor.

This practice of naming species after people, especially those who have made significant contributions to science or natural history, is quite common in taxonomy.

Male Costa’s hummingbirds:
The male Costa’s hummingbird is a small and vibrant bird, easily recognizable by its distinct coloration and features.

It possesses a bright reddish-purple cap, which covers the head feathers, and a similarly colored gorget, which is the area around the throat.

Male Costas 1 bird.whisperer NV
Male Costa’s Hummingbird
Photo by: bird.whisperer

Unique to this species, the gorget displays long streaming throat feathers that extend on both sides of its face, bearing a resemblance to the feather arrangement found in Calliope hummingbirds.

The metal plate that shields the wearer’s throat during combat to prevent injuries is the inspiration behind the name of the gorget on a male hummingbird.

This name is acceptable and fitting to characterize the physical characteristics of male hummingbirds since they fight fiercely for their own territory.
Read my article: Hummingbird Gorgets Explained

In contrast to the vivid colors of its head and throat, the male Costa’s hummingbird has a subdued body coloration. Its underbelly is light greenish-gray, providing a soft counterbalance to the brilliance of its head.

The back and flanks of the bird display a green hue, seamlessly blending with its natural habitats.

Regarding its size, the male Costa’s hummingbird is relatively small, measuring between 3 to 3.5 inches in length, and is lightweight, tipping the scales at just 2 to 3 grams.

This combination of striking head and throat colors with its more muted body tones makes the male Costa’s hummingbird a distinctive and easily identifiable species among hummingbirds.

Female Costa’s hummingbirds:
The female Costa’s hummingbird presents a more subdued appearance compared to the strikingly vibrant males. Lacking the iridescent feathers that characterize their male counterparts, female Costa’s hummingbirds display a more understated coloration.

Female Costas aaron G AZ
Female Costa’s Hummingbird
Photo By: Aaron Gomperts

Their grayish-light-green back is a muted hue that blends easily with the environment. This coloring provides excellent camouflage, especially in the bird’s natural habitats.

The underbelly is a dusty white, further contributing to their less conspicuous appearance. This contrast between the slightly darker back and the lighter underbelly, while subtle, still offers a distinctive look within the species.

The absence of the bright colors and iridescent feathers found in males is a common trait in many bird species, where females often have more subdued coloration, possibly as an evolutionary adaptation for better concealment while nesting and raising young.
See my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

Female Costa’s hummingbirds migrate north from Mexico to breed in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah.

Being a desert-dwelling species, Costa’s hummingbirds nest in open spaces with little vegetation. It has been observed that they build their nests on cacti. Predators that might try to consume the eggs or nestlings are discouraged from doing so by the plant’s thorns.
Read my article: 10 Common Things That Kill Hummingbirds

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

Juv Male Costas 1 Hummingbirdsbysuprise AZ
Costa’s Male Juvenile Hummingbird
Photo by: hummingbirdbysuprise

Baby Costa’s hummingbirds:
Baby Costa’s hummingbirds are easily identified by their undertail coverts, which are white fluffy feathers near their bottom that will disappear as they age.
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

Baby Male Costas 2 Hummingbirdsbysuprise AZ
Baby Male Costa’s Hummingbird
Photo by: hummingbirdbysuprise

To see the current sighting map of New Mexico’s Costa’s hummingbirds, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Costa’s hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

0.05% of all New Mexico hummingbird sightings will be Costa’s hummingbirds. hummingbirds.
On average, out of 10,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, only 5 will be Costa’s hummingbirds.

Very little is known about Costa’s hummingbirds and their short migratory habits in comparison to other hummingbird species.

Costa’s hummingbirds are primarily found in arid and semi-arid environments, including deserts, scrublands, and chaparral regions.

Living in dry habitats, Costa’s hummingbirds have developed adaptations to survive in these conditions. They are efficient in their water usage and can tolerate higher temperatures than many other bird species.

Their choice of flowering plants also reflects their adaptation to their environment, often favoring those that thrive in arid conditions.

They are native to the southwestern United States and Baja California in Mexico, often found in areas with abundant flowering plants which are crucial for their survival.

In terms of social behavior, Costa’s hummingbirds are generally solitary, especially outside of the breeding season. They can be territorial, with males often defending prime feeding territories from other hummingbirds.
See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

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

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

The Costa’s hummingbird is a partially migratory species. During the winter, birds in the northern portion of their range—especially those found in the United States—usually migrate southward to warmer climes. People in the southern portion of their range, particularly in Mexico, are frequently non-migratory.

Costa’s hummingbirds are known to interbreed or cross-breed, producing hybrids between Anna’s, Black-chinned, Blue-throated, Broad-tailed, and Calliope hummingbirds.

The biggest danger facing Costa’s hummingbirds is human encroachment, which takes the shape of plowed desert areas cleared for habitation and grazing.

The oldest known female Costa’s hummingbird lived for 8 years and 9 months after being caught and released twice during a banding operation in California in 2001 and 2009.
See my article:  3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

White-Eared Hummingbirds:

WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD – (Hylocharis leucotis)

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

Hylocharis leucotis, the scientific name for the White-eared hummingbird, is formed from the Latin words hylo, which means “wood or matter,” and charis, which is derived from a Greek term meaning goddesses of beauty and elegance; leuco, which means “white or without color,” and otis, which means “ear.”

Male White-eared hummingbirds:
The green on the back of male White-eared hummingbirds ranges from Granny Smith apple green to dark emerald, with patches of iridescent blue in their gorgets and upper chest.

Male White eared 1 Ernesto Perez
Male White-Eared Hummingbird
Photo by: Ernesto Perez

The throat and crown iridescent feathers may seem black in lower light.
They have an eye-to-neck white stripe that is both distinct and conspicuous.

A White-eared hummingbird’s bill is half black and half red, shorter than the typical hummingbird bill.
They have a length of 3.5–3.9 inches and a weight of 3–4 grams.

The metal plate that shields the wearer’s throat during combat to prevent injuries is the inspiration behind the name of the gorget on a male hummingbird.

This name is acceptable and fitting to characterize the physical characteristics of male hummingbirds since they fight fiercely for their own territory.
Read my article: Hummingbird Gorgets Explained

Female White-eared hummingbirds:
The female White-eared hummingbird has a distinct appearance that sets her apart from the male of the species. She is smaller in size and less vividly colored compared to the male.

Her upper parts are mostly a bronzy dull green, which helps with camouflage in her natural habitats.

The white stripe behind the eye for which the species is named is a more subtle and diffused grayish-white patch.

Her underparts are generally grayish, blending into a more whitish color on the throat and center of the belly. This whitish area is less pronounced than in the male.

The tail is typically greenish-bronze, with white tips on the outer feathers, a feature that is also less conspicuous than in her male counterpart.

She is among the medium-sized hummingbirds weighing 3 to 4 grams with a length of 9 to 10 centimeters from the tip of her beak to the end of her tail.
See my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

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

The noticeable white stripe begins to develop early.

Juvenile Male White eared 1 Anthony Lujan
Juvenile Male White-Eared Hummingbird
Photo by: Anthony Lujan

Baby White-eared hummingbirds:
Baby White-eared hummingbirds are easily identified by their undertail coverts, which are white fluffy feathers near their bottom that will disappear as they age.
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

To see the current sighting map of New Mexico’s White-eared hummingbirds, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the White-eared hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

0.02% of all New Mexico hummingbird sightings will be White-eared hummingbirds.
On average, out of 10,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, only 2 will be White-eared hummingbirds.

White-eared hummingbirds are found in a variety of habitats, ranging from mountainous regions to forested areas.

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

White-eared hummingbirds are known for their territorial nature, especially around feeding areas. Males are particularly aggressive in defending territories against other males and sometimes even larger bird species.

Their flight skills are remarkable, capable of rapid directional changes and hovering with precision.
See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

While some populations of White-eared hummingbirds are resident in their habitats year-round, others undertake migrations.

Birds in the northern part of their range often migrate southward during the colder months, returning north again for the breeding season.
Read my article: New Mexico Hummingbird Migration

Hummingbird feeders filled with homemade sugar water attract White-eared hummingbirds, who are frequently welcomed visitors in gardens. They are interesting to birdwatchers and wildlife lovers, and they are good for the ecosystem because they are essential to pollination.

Blue-Throated Mountain-Gem Hummingbirds:

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, scientifically named Lampornis clemenciae, is a species of hummingbird named for its distinctive blue throat patch, most prominently seen in males. This feature is the origin of its common name.

Prior to 2019 the Blue-throated Mountain-gem was known simply as the Blue-throated hummingbird but was renamed to the Blue-throated Mountain-gem to better identify it as a member of the genus Lampornis.

Male Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds:
Male Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds have striking white stripes across both of their eyes and a vivid, iridescent cobalt blue forget.

Male Blue Throated MT Gem 1 AZ
Blue-Throated Mountain-Gem
Photo by: Rekha Pawar

His tail tips are painted white, and his wings and tail are also dark. The entire body of the Blue-throated Mountain-gem is drab greenish-gray, with additional patches of grayish-emerald green on the head, neck, and upper portion of the shoulder where the wing connects.

They weigh between 8.1 and 8.6 grams and have a length of 4.3 to 4.7 inches.

The metal plate that shields the wearer’s throat during combat to prevent injuries is the inspiration behind the name of the gorget on a male hummingbird.

This name is acceptable and fitting to characterize the physical characteristics of male hummingbirds since they fight fiercely for their own territory.
Read my article: Hummingbird Gorgets Explained

Female Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds:
Compared to their male counterparts, female Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds tend to have duller appearances and lack the characteristic blue throat feathers that glisten in the sunlight. They have gray underparts and a double white stripe on their face.
See my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

Juvenile Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds:
Male and female juvenile Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds initially resemble adult females until the male starts to develop the iridescent feathers that are characteristic of this species of hummingbird.

Juv Blue throated MT Gem 1 Anthony Lujan
Juvenile Blue-Throated Mountain-Gem Hummingbird
Photo by: Anthony Lujan

Baby Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds:
Baby Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds are easily identified by their undertail coverts, which are white fluffy feathers near their bottom that will disappear as they age.
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

To see the current sighting map of New Mexico’s Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Blue-throated Mountain-gem  hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

0.02% of all New Mexico hummingbird sightings will be Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds.
On average, out of 10,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, only 2 will be Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds.

One of the bigger hummingbird species in North America, the Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbird is distinguished by its comparatively large size.

The Cornell Lab reports that Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds weigh three times as much as Ruby-throated hummingbirds.

Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds have the slowest reported wingbeat rate of any known hummingbird, in part due to their size. A hummingbird with a longer wingspan can flap its wings in a figure-eight pattern far more forcefully than a smaller, more delicate hummingbird.

Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds are the largest hummingbird species known to nest in the United States.

The Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbird likes building their nests atop human residential structures or on overhanging rocks. They are known to build new nests on top of older nests to resemble a tall tower and that they return to the same nest every year.

Before mating, the majority of hummingbirds in North America perform a courtship dance to attract females and grab their attention.

The exception to this courtship dance to attract a female hummingbird is the male Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbird; he does not do an aerial display. The females, on the other hand, indicate to the male that she has selected him and is prepared for copulation with a recognizable call and a series of brief flights.

These birds range from the southwestern United States through Mexico and into Central America, where they live in mountain woodlands and margins, especially in pine-oak forests.

The Chisos Mountains in Texas or the “sky island” mountain ranges in southeast Arizona are some of the best places to find and identify Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds.

Like most hummingbirds, Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds become territorial and hostile over flower varieties with a greater sugar content, and they will fight back against intruders

Because of the Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbird’s size, which requires them to consume a lot of insects for sustenance, they devour more insects than any other species of hummingbird.

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

The oldest male Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbird known to science is 7 years and 11 months old. He was captured and released during an Arizona banding operation.
See my article:  3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Allen’s Hummingbirds:

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

Male Allen’s hummingbirds:
Male Allen’s hummingbirds 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.

The gorget of the male Allen’s hummingbird is an iridescent orange-red, however, in darker lighting, it can appear chocolate brown.

Male Allens 2 inthewildwithrick CA
Male Allen’s Hummingbird
Photo by: IntheWildwithRick

Allen’s hummingbirds are 3.3 inches to 3.5 inches in length and weigh 2-4 grams.

The metal plate that shields the wearer’s throat during combat to prevent injuries is the inspiration behind the name of the gorget on a male hummingbird.

This name is acceptable and fitting to characterize the physical characteristics of male hummingbirds, since they fight fiercely for their own territory.
Read my article: Hummingbird Gorgets Explained

Female Allen’s hummingbirds:
The female Allen’s hummingbird is less colorful than the male because it lacks the iridescent forget.

In the wild, confusion may arise because certain females have stippling or color specs along their throat lines that resemble juvenile characteristics.
See my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

Female Allens 1 inthewildwithrick CA
Female Allen’s Hummingbird
Photo by: IntheWildwithRick

Juvenile Allen’s hummingbirds:
Both male and female juvenile Allen’s hummingbirds first resemble adult females until the male starts to develop the characteristic iridescent feathers of this species of hummingbird.

In the field, they are nearly identical to Rufous hummingbirds due to their striking similarity in colors and disposition.
Therefore, range rather than appearance is used to establish identity.

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

Baby Allen’s hummingbirds:
Baby Allen’s hummingbirds are easily identified by their undertail coverts, which are white fluffy feathers near their bottom that will disappear as they age.
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

Baby Allens 1 inthewildwithrick CA
Baby Allen’s Hummingbird
Photo by: IntheWildwithRick

To see the current sighting map of New Mexico’s Allen’s hummingbirds, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Allen’s hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

On average, out of 30,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, only 1 will be an Allen’s hummingbird.

Male Allen’s hummingbirds engage in a dramatic, fast-paced courtship dance that mimics a pendulum’s swing. Of all the hummingbirds in North America, their territorial dive displays are among the most intricate.
See my article: Hummingbird Dance: 5 Interpretive Explanations

Allen’s hummingbirds, both male and female, are gregarious birds. Other than mating, they do not interact with each other.

They are fiercely territorial and hostile toward other hummingbirds as well as larger predatory birds like hawks, much like Rufous hummingbirds.

Allen’s hummingbirds are primarily found in coastal parts of California and Oregon, USA. They prefer habitats like gardens, forested or shrubby areas, and coastal chaparral.

They migrate to southern Mexico in the winter, covering quite long distances for such small birds.

Allen’s hummingbirds are highly territorial, especially the males during the breeding season. They engage in aggressive aerial displays to defend their feeding territories from intruders. These displays include high-speed chases and intricate flight patterns.
See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

Allen’s hummingbirds commonly reside and nest along the west coast and winter in Mexico. Their nesting season is perfectly timed with when the regions have the most rainfall which helps provide prolific nectar-producing flowers for their offspring.

Usually found in trees or shrubs, females use plant materials and spider webs to construct tiny, cup-shaped nests. Each time they attempt to reproduce, they lay one to two eggs, which they then incubate for two to three weeks.

For several weeks after hatching, the young remain totally reliant on their mother for nourishment and protection until they are able to fly.

In their natural range, Allen’s hummingbirds often visit gardens and areas with bird feeders. They are a favorite among bird watchers and nature enthusiasts for their colorful appearance and lively behavior.

The future of Allen’s hummingbirds, like many species, is closely tied to environmental factors and human influence on their habitats. Habitat loss and the use of pesticides are among the challenges they face. Efforts to preserve natural habitats, along with responsible gardening and the maintenance of bird feeders, aids in their conservation.

Understanding and protecting Allen’s hummingbirds is crucial for maintaining the ecological balance and for the continued enjoyment of future generations who will marvel at this vibrant and lively bird.

In 2004, and again in 2009, the oldest known living Allen’s hummingbird was taken during a California banding program that involved catch and release. She was 5 years and 11 months old at the time.
See my article:  3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Berylline Hummingbirds:

BERYLLINE HUMMINGBIRD – (Amazilia beryllina)

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

The Berylline hummingbird (pronounced: berra-line) is a striking species of hummingbird found primarily in Mexico and as far south as Honduras. They are occasionally seen in the southwestern United States in Arizona and New Mexico.

Berylline hummingbirds get their name from the Latin word beryllina meaning “green color”. It stems from the mineral beryl.

Beryl is a mineral that comes in various colors, including green, blue, yellow, and pink, depending on impurities present in the crystal structure.

In the case of the Berylline hummingbird, the name refers to the iridescent green plumage of the bird, which resembles the green hues of certain varieties of beryl.

Male Berylline hummingbirds:
The male Berylline hummingbird is identified by its bright iridescent emerald green crown and gorget (head and throat feathers).

Male Berylline 1 Juan Lujan
Male Berylline Hummingbird
Photo by: Anthony Lujan

The metal plate that shields the wearer’s throat during combat to prevent injuries is the inspiration behind the name of the gorget on a male hummingbird.

This name is acceptable and fitting to characterize the physical characteristics of male hummingbirds, since they fight fiercely for their own territory.
Read my article: Hummingbird Gorgets Explained

Males have vibrant green upperparts with iridescent purple accents  which appear black in certain lighting conditions.

Their underbelly is a brownish-beige hue with a light shade of green or gray.
The wings are a dark rich brown with nutmeg accents and their forked tail is purplish red.

They weigh between 4 and 5 grams and have lengths ranging from 3.1 inches to 3.9 inches. They are considered a medium-sized hummingbird.

Female Berylline hummingbirds:
The female Berylline hummingbird has a more subdued appearance compared to males. Its upperparts are a dull greenish-gray, lacking the vibrant green coloration seen in males.

Female Berylline 3 Juan Lujan
Female Berylline Hummingbird
Photo by: Anthony Lujan

The throat and breast lack the iridescent purple coloring seen in males, instead having a duller whitish or grayish throat and belly.

Their overall plumage is designed for camouflage and blending into their surroundings, which is important for nesting and avoiding predators.
Read my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)
Read my article: 10 Common Things That Kill Hummingbirds

Juvenile Berylline hummingbirds:
Both male and female juvenile Berylline hummingbirds look more like adult females, exhibiting an overall brown or gray plumage until they are differentiated as the male begins to acquire the iridescent feathers that are typical of this species of hummingbird.

Baby Berylline hummingbirds:
Baby Berylline hummingbirds are easily identified by their white fluffy feathers near their bottom that will disappear as they age.

They undergo a rapid growth and development process, transitioning from helpless hatchlings to fully-fledged, independent birds within a matter of weeks.

Their survival relies heavily on the care provided by their dedicated mother during this critical period.
Read my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

To see the current sighting map of New Mexico’s Berylline hummingbirds, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Berylline hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

On average, out of 50,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, only 1 will be a Berylline hummingbird.

Berylline hummingbirds are found in mountainous regions, particularly in pine-oak forests, pine-oak woodlands, and brushy habitats. They prefer areas with abundant flowering plants that provide a good source of nectar.

Male Berylline hummingbirds engage in elaborate courtship displays to attract females. These displays involve aerial acrobatics, such as rapid dives and ascents, accompanied by buzzing sounds produced by their wings.

Males also exhibit vibrant plumage and perform flashy flight maneuvers to showcase their fitness to attract mates.
Read my article: Hummingbird Dance: 5 Interpretive Explanations

Their breeding habitat resides in Central America in lush tropical forests of western Mexico and Honduras. They prefer habitats that favor oak and pine from the woodlands along with tropical deciduous forests that provide heavy rainfall in the summers and dry winter topography.

Male Berylline hummingbirds are highly territorial during the breeding season, defending prime feeding and nesting areas from other males. They engage in aggressive behavior, including aerial chases and vocalizations, to establish and maintain their territories.
See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

Berylline hummingbirds are known to hybridize with the Rivoli’s aka Magnificent hummingbird.

Cinnamon Hummingbirds:

CINNAMON HUMMINGBIRD – (Amazilia rutila)

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

The Cinnamon hummingbird is native to Central America and parts of Mexico. Its range extends from southern Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

They are occasionally seen in the southwestern United States border of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

The Cinnamon hummingbird is rooted in the name “Amazilia”, a French novel legend and “rutila” or rutilus meaning red or warm radiance.

Male Cinnamon hummingbirds:
The male Cinnamon hummingbird is named for its overall cinnamon-colored plumage, which ranges from rich reddish-brown to cinnamon-orange on its upperparts, wings, and tail.

Unlike most hummingbirds, the Cinnamon hummingbird does not display an iridescent gorget or ear patch marking. He sports an army green helmet of head feathers, called a crown.

Their throat is a light cinnamon or buff color, sometimes with a metallic green or blue iridescence.

The underparts are generally a light shade of cinnamon, fading to a pale buff or white on the belly.

Their backs are a forest green with chocolate brown wings. They have a red bill with a black tip. They weigh between 5 to 5.5 grams and have lengths ranging from 3.7 inches to 4.5 inches.

At a quick glance from behind, these hummingbirds closely resemble and are often confused with the Buff-bellied and Rufous-tailed hummingbirds.

Female Cinnamon hummingbirds:
The female Cinnamon hummingbird is less vibrant looking than the males and usually do not have iridescent feathers. Their bill is mostly black with a red base.
Read my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

Juvenile Cinnamon hummingbirds:
Both male and female juvenile Cinnamon hummingbirds look more like the adult females until they are differentiated as the male begins to acquire the iridescent feathers that are typical of this species of hummingbird. Their bill is all black in color.

Juv Cinnamon 3 Anthony Lujan
Juvenile Cinnamon Hummingbird
Photo by: Anthony Lujan

Baby Cinnamon hummingbirds:
The babies are easily identified by their white fluffy feathers near their bottom that disappear as they age.
Read my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

Baby Cinnamon 1 Anthony Lujan
Baby Cinnamon Hummingbird
Photo by: Anthony Lujan

To see the current sighting map of New Mexico’s Cinammon hummingbirds, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Cinammon hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

On average, out of 50,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, only 1 will be a Cinnamon hummingbird.

Cinnamon hummingbirds inhabit a variety of habitats, including tropical forests, woodlands, scrublands, gardens, and parks.

Highly active and agile fliers, Cinnamon hummingbirds are capable of hovering in mid-air and darting quickly between flowers.

They are often found near flowering plants, which provide a crucial food source of nectar. These hummingbirds are adaptable and thrive in both lowland and mountainous regions.

Cinnamon hummingbirds are known for their territorial behavior, particularly around feeding areas or favorite perches. They aggressively chase away other hummingbirds or even larger birds that encroach on their territory.
See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

Cinnamon hummingbirds cross-breed and form a hybrid species with the Buff-bellied hummingbird.

Mexican Violetear Hummingbirds:

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

Scientifically speaking, the Mexican Violetear is a species of hummingbird, Colibri thalassinus.
Thalassinus is a Latin term meaning “color of the sea.”

The characteristic violet patch of feathers on the sides of this hummingbird’s head, which mimics an ear, gave rise to its popular name.

The “violetear” description is accurate and vivid because of this bright patch that stands out against the bird’s otherwise green plumage.

Male Mexican Violetear hummingbirds:
The term “violet-ears” refers to the iridescent green color of male Mexican Violetear hummingbirds, which have brilliant violet ear patches on either side of their neck.

This hummingbird has metallic blue-green tail feathers with a black band underneath the bronze tail feathers in the center.
They weigh between 5 and 6 grams and have lengths ranging from 3.8 to 4.7 inches.

Male Mexican violetear 1 Ernesto Perez
Male Mexican Violetear
Photo by: Ernesto Perez

Female Mexican Violetear hummingbirds:
Females typically have a less vibrant coloration compared to males. They have a primarily green plumage, which can appear as a dull green or blue-green. The green is iridescent and may shine with different intensities and hues in various lighting conditions.

The violet ear patches are present in females but are often less pronounced than in males.
The underparts of the female are typically a duller green compared to the males, and they may have some grayish or whitish markings.

The tail is typically dark, forked, and has some blue or green iridescence. It is usually less spectacular than that of the male.
See my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

Juvenile Mexican Violetear hummingbirds:
Male and female Mexican Violetear hummingbirds in their juvenile years resemble adult females until the male starts to develop the characteristic iridescent violet ear patches on either side of his neck.

Baby Mexican Violetear hummingbirds:
Baby Mexican Violetear hummingbirds are easily identified by their undertail coverts, which are white fluffy feathers near their bottom that will disappear as they age.
See my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

To see the current sighting map of New Mexico’s Mexican Violetear hummingbirds, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Mexican Violetear hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

On average, out of 50,000 hummingbird sightings in New Mexico, only 1 will be a Mexican Violetear hummingbird

From Mexico to Nicaragua, these hummingbird species are found on the outskirts of cloud forests, where they thrive in an environment with high levels of tropical humidity. It is common to see this dark hummingbird at forest margins and clearings.

Mexican Violetear hummingbirds are semi-nomadic. Since they have not been thoroughly examined, scientists know very little about their migration patterns.

However, based on available data, the Mexican Violetear is primarily distributed in northern South America, middle Mexico, and middle America.

Although Mexican Violetear hummingbirds are typically permanent residents of their natural habitat, a few individuals have strayed and ventured as far north as Wisconsin, Michigan, and even Canada.

Much like a lot of other hummingbird species, the Mexican Violetear hummingbird nests alone. Although they do not feed in flocks, these hummingbirds are observed in groups around flowering trees, such as the coffee-shading Inga tree, where they scavenge for nectar and insects.

In terms of social behavior, Mexican Violetear hummingbirds are generally solitary, especially outside of the breeding season. They can be territorial, with males often defending prime feeding territories from other hummingbirds.
See my article: Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other: Is it Friend or Foe?

The oldest known Mexican Violetear hummingbird was documented to be at least 11 years and 2 months old.

This information is based on banding records, where birds are captured, banded with a unique identification ring, and then potentially recaptured or found in the future.

The age of this particular Mexican Violetear was determined by the length of time between its initial banding and its last documented recapture or sighting.
See my article:  3 Reasons Why Hummingbirds Are Banded

Plain-capped Starthroat Hummingbirds:

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

The Plain-capped Starthroat is a species of hummingbird native to Central and South America ranging from southern Mexico through Central America to northern South America including countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru.

The name “Plain-capped Starthroat” describes a plain or lightly colored cap on its head and a throat that glimmers resembling the twinkling of stars.

This feature is particularly prominent during courtship displays or when the bird is catches the light at certain angles.

Male Plain-capped Starthroat hummingbirds:
The male Plain-capped Starthroat hummingbird is identified by a plain cap on its head, which is a lighter color than the rest of its body, often described as a pale gray or buff color. This marking sets it apart from other hummingbird species.

Juv Male Plain capped starthroat 2 Ernesto Perez
Plain-Capped Starthroat Hummingbird
Photo by: Ernesto Perez

It has iridescent green upperparts that shimmer in the sunlight, giving it a dazzling appearance. The throat and upper breast of the male are a brilliant metallic purple.

Its bill is long and slightly curved, adapted for sipping nectar from flowers. The tail is relatively short compared to other hummingbirds and is squared off or slightly notched.

They weigh 7.4 grams and have lengths ranging from 4.3 inches to 5.1inches. They are considered a medium sized hummingbird.

The metal plate that shields the wearer’s throat during combat to prevent injuries is the inspiration behind the name of the gorget on a male hummingbird.

This name is acceptable and fitting to characterize the physical characteristics of male hummingbirds, since they fight fiercely for their own territory.
Read my article: Hummingbird Gorgets Explained

Female Plain-capped Starthroat hummingbirds:
The female Plain-capped Starthroat hummingbird has a more subdued appearance and is less vibrant and colorful compared to the males.

She exhibits greenish upperparts, with shades ranging from olive to bronze.

The female’s throat is pale or whitish in color, sometimes with subtle streaks or speckles with less intense coloration.
Read my article: Hummingbird Parents: (Mating to Nesting)

Juvenile Plain-capped Starthroat hummingbirds:
The juvenile Plain-capped Starthroat hummingbird lacks the vibrant colors and iridescence seen in adults. Instead, their plumage is duller and less distinct, often with a mottled or streaked appearance.

Juv Plain capped starthroat 1 Ernesto Perez
Juvenile Plain-Capped Starthroat Hummingbird
Photo by: Ernesto Perez

They exhibit shades of brown, gray, or olive-green in their feathers, providing them with camouflage to blend into their surroundings and avoid predators.
Read my article: 10 Common Things That Kill Hummingbirds

As juvenile Plain-capped Starthroats mature, their plumage gradually becomes more vibrant, and they acquire the distinctive features characteristic of adult individuals.

This transformation occurs over several months as they reach sexual maturity and become capable of breeding.

Baby Plain-capped Starthroat hummingbirds:
The baby Plain-capped Starthroat hummingbird is easily identified by its white fluffy feathers near its bottom that will disappear as they age.

They lack the vibrant colors and distinct markings seen in adult individuals, and their feathers are typically dull and non-iridescent.

Baby Plain-capped Starthroats are small and underdeveloped, measuring only a few centimeters in length. They have a fluffy appearance due to their downy plumage.
Read my article: Baby Hummingbirds: (Egg to Fledgling)

To see the current sighting map of New Mexico’s Plain-capped Starthroat hummingbirds, click the link.

Hear the sounds of the Plain-capped Starthroat hummingbird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology link).

Plain-capped Starthroat hummingbirds inhabit a variety of environments, including open woodlands, forest edges, gardens, and even urban areas, as long as there are flowering plants available for nectar feeding.

Like all hummingbirds, the Plain-capped Starthroat is known for its rapid wingbeats, hovering ability, and agility in flight. It primarily feeds on nectar from flowers but also consumes small insects and spiders for protein.

The most frequently seen New Mexico Hummingbirds are Black-chinned hummingbirds followed closely in second place by the Broad-tailed hummingbirds.

Black-chinned Hummingbird: 50% of all hummingbirds seen in New Mexico are Black-chinned hummingbirds.
Out of 10,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, 5,072 will be Black-chinned hummingbirds.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: 30% of all hummingbirds seen in New Mexico are Broad-tailed hummingbirds.
Out of 10,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, 3,070 will be Broad-tailed hummingbirds.

Rufous Hummingbird: 13% of all hummingbirds seen in New Mexico are Rufous hummingbirds.
Out of 10,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, 1,391 will be Rufous hummingbirds.

Calliope Hummingbird: 3% of all hummingbirds seen in New Mexico are Calliope hummingbirds.
Out of 10,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, only 333 will be Calliope hummingbirds.

Anna’s Hummingbird: 0.52% of all hummingbirds seen in New Mexico are Anna’s hummingbirds.
Out of 10,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, only 52 will be Anna’s hummingbirds.

Broad-billed Hummingbird: 0.29% of all hummingbirds seen in New Mexico are Broad-billed hummingbirds.
Out of 10,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, only 29 will be Broad-billed hummingbirds.

Rivoli’s Hummingbird: 0.21% of all hummingbirds seen in New Mexico are Rivoli’s hummingbirds.
Out of 10,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, only 21 will be Rivoli’s hummingbirds.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird: 0.07% of all hummingbirds seen in New Mexico are Ruby-throated hummingbirds.
Out of 10,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, only 7 will be Ruby-throated hummingbirds.

Lucifer Hummingbird: 0.07% of all hummingbirds seen in New Mexico are Lucifer hummingbirds.
Out of 10,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, only 7 will be Lucifer hummingbirds.

Violet-crowned Hummingbird: 0.06% of all hummingbirds seen in New Mexico are Violet-crowned hummingbirds.
Out of 10,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, only 6 will be Violet-crowned hummingbirds.

Costa’s Hummingbird: 0.05% of all hummingbirds seen in New Mexico are Costa’s hummingbirds.
Out of 10,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, only 5 will be Costa’s hummingbirds.

White-eared Hummingbird: 0.02% of all hummingbirds seen in New Mexico are White-eared hummingbirds.
Out of 10,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, only 2 will be White-eared hummingbirds.

Blue-throated Mountain-gem Hummingbird: 0.02% of all hummingbirds seen in New Mexico are Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds.
Out of 10,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, only 2 will be Blue-throated Mountain-gem hummingbirds.

Allen’s Hummingbird:
Out of 30,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, only 1 will be Allen’s hummingbirds.

Berylline Hummingbird:
Out of 50,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, only 1 will be a Berylline hummingbird.

Cinnamon Hummingbird:
Out of 50,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, only 1 will be a Cinnamon hummingbird.

Mexican Violetear Hummingbird:
Out of 50,000 New Mexico hummingbirds seen, only 1 will be a Mexican Violetear hummingbird.

Plain-capped Starthroat Hummingbird: There are no sightings of the Plain-capped Starthroat hummingbird on the eBird.org sighting map, however, a top-ranked Google website lists the Plain-capped Starthroat hummingbird as a New Mexico hummingbird.

Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Rufous, and Calliope hummingbirds are seen throughout the entirety of New Mexico while the other fourteen hummingbirds are only seen in specific, limited areas of New Mexico.

Read my article New Mexico Hummingbird Migration

For more information about hummingbirds, read my other hummingbird articles.

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.

Recent Posts