7 Gorgeous Hummingbirds In California: You Must Know About

Hummingbirds In California

Hummingbirds In California

  1. Allen’s Hummingbird
  2. Black-chinned Hummingbird
  3. Costa’s Hummingbird
  4. Rufous Hummingbird
  5. Calliope Hummingbird
  6. Broad-billed Hummingbird
  7. Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Allen’s Hummingbird

Allen’s Hummingbirds are difficult to distinguish from Rufous Hummingbirds in the small region of coastal woodland and scrub that runs between California and Oregon.

Allen’s Hummingbirds have iridescent reddish-orange throats, orange bellies, tails, and eye patches, and orange bellies, tails, and eye patches on males.

Males and females both have long, straight bills and coppery green backs, but females lack the brilliant throat color.

Allen’s and Rufous Hummingbirds vary in that Allen’s has narrower outer tail feathers than Rufous.

They have up to three broods every year and construct nests at no fixed height along shaded streams.

Allen’s Hummingbirds spend the winter in Mexico and move up the Pacific Coast of California and Oregon as early as January. Some have remained in central Mexico and the Los Angeles area.

The Allen’s Hummingbird is a rare species of hummingbird that has only been seen a few times in North Carolina.

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Hummingbirds with black cheeks have a dull metallic green back and grayish-white underbelly.

Females have a light neck and white tips on their tail feathers, while males have a black throat with a thin iridescent purple foundation.

In the winter, Black-chinned Hummingbirds move to western Mexico and the Gulf Coast, where they breed primarily inland.

They devour nectar, tiny insects, and spiders, and when feeding on nectar, their tongues may lick 13-17 times per second.

Black-chinned Hummingbird nests are built of plant down and spider silk and they lay two white small eggs.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds are frequently spotted perching on tiny bare branches at the tops of dead trees, and they frequently return to a favorite perch.

They can be found in the Southwest amid canyons and rivers, or on the Gulf Coast under shade oaks.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds are uncommon in North Carolina, however, a few have arrived from the Gulf Coast during the winter.

Costa’s Hummingbird

Costa’s Hummingbirds are mostly desert hummingbirds with purple heads and beautiful iridescent purple throat patches that flare out.

Their bellies are white with green coloration on the sides and their backs are green. Female Costa’s Hummingbirds are lighter in color and have a whiter belly.

In the winter, they move from Mexico’s Pacific coast to Arizona, the southern margins of Nevada and Utah, and farther into California to breed.

Costa’s Hummingbirds live in desert scrub, chaparral, and deciduous woodland. Their nests are erected three to seven feet above the ground level.

Rufous Hummingbird

Although Rufous Hummingbirds are not widespread in North Carolina, a few do migrate here in the winter, giving you even another incentive to keep your hummingbird feeders out.

Male Rufous Hummingbirds have an iridescent red throat with a vivid orange back and belly and a white patch beneath the throat. Females have greenish-brown back, creamy bellies and are rusty on the sides.

Rufous hummingbirds are one of the world’s longest-distance migrators, covering up to 4000 miles each trip. They breed in northwest Alaska and migrate south for the winter to Mexico and the Gulf Coast.

In the spring, they migrate north along the Pacific Coast, then in the late summer and fall, they move north via the Rocky Mountains.

The nectar from colorful tubular flowers, as well as insects such as gnats, midges, and flies, are the main sources of food for Rufous Hummingbirds.

They use spider webs and soft plants down to strengthen their nests. They lay a clutch of 2-3 small white eggs.

During migration, they are hostile and chase away any other hummingbirds that emerge, including bigger hummingbirds and resident hummingbirds.

They don’t stay around for long during migration and will chase away most other hummingbirds if given the chance. They reside in alpine meadows in the summer and woodlands and forests in the winter.

Calliope Hummingbird

Despite being a summer and winter hummingbird of western states, Calliope Hummingbirds have been spending more time in winter on the Gulf Coast, with some even making it as far north as North Carolina.

The Calliope Hummingbird is the smallest bird in the United States, but it manages to travel over 5000 miles each year, from Mexico to Canada and back.

They also outshine their counterparts when it comes to guarding their turf and even chasing Red-tailed Hawks.

Male Calliope Hummingbirds have a black tail, brilliant magenta throats, and shiny green backs and sides.

Females don’t have the iridescent throats that males do, and their underbelly is pinkish-white rather than white.

The spring migration to the Rocky Mountains takes place along the Pacific Coast, including breeding grounds in California, Colorado, and up into the northwest states and Canada.

They begin their journey early, arriving in mid-April to early May. Between mid-July and mid-September, Calliope Hummingbirds can be spotted more regularly.

They normally make their nests on evergreen trees, and they may reuse or build on top of an existing one. The Rocky Mountains are used for fall migration to wintering sites in southwestern Mexico.

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Broad-billed hummingbirds are brightly colorful. The males have a bright metallic green coloration throughout, with a blue neck that goes down the breast.

Males and females have red beaks that are black-tipped and broad towards their heads, and both have a pale belly.

Broad-billed Hummingbirds live in Central Mexico and the Pacific Coast of Mexico all year.

Some birds move north to mate in mountain valleys in southern Arizona and New Mexico, while others stay near the Mexican border all year.

Broad-billed Hummingbirds prefer canyon streams and mountain meadows for foraging, although they will also visit garden feeders. Near streams, nests are formed at a low level of about 3 feet.

The Broad-billed Hummingbird is a rare species of hummingbird that has only been seen a few times in North Carolina.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are iridescent green on the back, brownish on the wings, and white on the breast and into the abdomen, and reside at higher elevations.

The males have an iridescent rose throat while females and young ones have green dots on their necks and cheeks.

Between late May and August, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds breed in high meadows and open forests between 5,000 and 10,000 feet in the mountainous west, before migrating to southern Mexico for the winter.

The Broad-tailed Hummingbird may slow their heart rate and lower its body temperature to reach a condition of torpor as a result of the cold at higher elevations.

Hummingbirds eat on nectar from flowers, and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds dine on larkspur, red columbine, sage, and scarlet gilia, as well as hummingbird nectar feeders.

They eat little insects to augment their nutrition, and their young are also fed insects. 

Broad-tailed Hummingbird nests are created with spider webs and gossamer under overhanging branches for increased insulation during chilly nights on evergreen or aspen trees.

The Broad-tailed Hummingbird is a rare species of hummingbird that has only been seen a few times in North Carolina.

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