Species of Hummingbirds In Southwest – Discover the Southwest’s Vibrant Hummingbirds

The remarkable hummingbird has long been known for its exceptional qualities, notably its mid-air hovering and rapid wing movements. In the southwestern United States, various hummingbird species are native to the region.

The Southwest region of the United States is home to various hummingbird species, including the Anna’s Hummingbird, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Calliope Hummingbird, and Costa’s Hummingbird.

I will explore the different species of hummingbirds in the southwest, from their distinct physical features to their fascinating behaviors, diets, and habitat preferences.

Several Common Hummingbird Species in the Southwest

Many unique, dazzling species of hummingbirds inhabit the Southwest, making it a great place for bird watchers to explore. The Southwest is home to several species of hummingbirds, some found only in this region.

Costa’s Hummingbird

It is one of the hummingbirds found in the southwestern United States. It is native primarily to the states of California and Arizona but can be found in other areas of the southwest, such as Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas.

Length:       Up to 9 cm

Wingspan:  Up to 11 cm

Weight:       2-3 gm

Diet:           Nectar and insects

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

This Hummingbird is a species of hummingbird found in the southwestern United States. It is especially common in the montane areas of the Southwest, where it can be seen in scrubland, woodland, and desert habitats.

It is a medium-sized bird with a short, straight bill and a vibrant greenback. Its most distinctive feature is its tail, marked with a broad, forked pattern.

Length:       Up to 10 cm

Wingspan:  Up to 13 cm

Weight:       around 3.6 gm

Diet:            Nectar and insects

Broad-billed Hummingbird

The majestic Broad-billed Hummingbird (Cynanthus latirostris) is a hummingbird species in the Southwestern United States.

This species is most commonly found in desert scrub, riparian woodlands, and mountain canyons. Most sightings are in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas.

Length:       8-10 cm

Wingspan:  Up to 12.7 cm

Weight:       3-4 gm

Diet:            Nectar and insects

Black-chinned Hummingbird

It is one of many hummingbirds native to the southwestern United States. This species occurs in the southwestern United States from California to Texas and southwestern Arizona to western Oklahoma. They are also found in Mexico, particularly in the Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre Oriental mountain ranges.

Length:       Up to 9 cm

Wingspan:  Up to 11 cm

Weight:       2.3-4.9 gm

Diet:            Nectar and insects

Anna’s Hummingbird

The Southwest region is home to various hummingbird species, including Anna’s Hummingbird. This species is known for its vibrant green, purple, and blue plumage and is opportunistic regarding food sources.

It can be found in many habitats, from chaparral and coniferous forests to urban gardens, and is the only hummingbird species in California that remains year-round. Anna’s Hummingbirds are also highly territorial and will vigorously defend their food sources, nesting sites, and perches.

Length:       9.9 to 10.9 cm

Wingspan:  Up to 12 cm

Weight:       2.8-5.7 gm

Diet:            Nectar and insects

Calliope Hummingbird

This is a small species of hummingbird that primarily inhabits the western United States and southwestern Canada. This species is one of the smallest hummingbirds found in North America and is one of the fastest-flying birds in the world, reaching speeds of up to 60 mph.

Length:       8 to 9 cm

Wingspan:  10.5 to 11 cm

Weight:       2.3-3.4 gm

Diet:            Nectar and insects

Blue-throated Hummingbird

The tiny Blue-throated Hummingbird (Lampornis clemenciae) is a species of hummingbird found in the southwestern United States. This species is known for its vibrant blue throat, bright green back and sides, and reddish-brown tail feathers.

It is found primarily in arid and semi-arid habitats, including desert scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands. This species has a very limited range, with most of its range in Arizona, New Mexico, and northern Mexico and a few sightings in Utah, Texas, and California.

Length:       11 to 12 cm

Wingspan:  Up to 13 cm

Weight:       8.1-8.6 gm

Diet:            Nectar and insects

Best Time to Watch Hummingbirds in Arizona

In the South West region, hummingbirds can be spotted year-round, though the optimal time for viewing and appreciating them may vary depending on the species and location. Here are certain recommendations to take into account.

Spring

During the spring months, the breeding season of hummingbirds commences, offering an ideal opportunity for observation. Male hummingbirds present their courtship display to entice females. Typically, the spring season in the Southwestern region begins in March and extends through May.

Summer

As the days grow longer and warmer, hummingbirds become increasingly active, allowing ample opportunity to observe the species in their natural habitat. These birds are most likely to be seen visiting flowers for nectar or hovering near hummingbird feeders.

Typically, the summer season in the South West region begins in June and concludes in August.

Fall

During the fall, hummingbirds begin their annual migration to their winter habitats in Mexico and Central America.

The South West region typically sees large numbers of hummingbirds between September and November, providing an excellent opportunity for observation and study. During this period, the birds take on the fuel necessary for the lengthy journey.

Dietary Habits of Hummingbirds in Southwest

Hummingbirds are some of the animal kingdom’s most delicate and fascinating creatures. These tiny birds have unique dietary habits that can be interesting to observe.

These birds consume nectar from flowers and other sources of sugar, such as tree sap, tree holes, and nectar from hummingbird feeders. This is supplemented by various small insects, such as gnats, mosquitoes, and spiders, which provide the protein and other nutrients necessary for the birds to survive.

They also take advantage of natural protein sources like tree sap and honeydew. In addition to nectar and insects, hummingbirds may also consume pollen, a vital source of nutrients for them.

How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Yard?

Attracting hummingbirds to your yard is a rewarding experience, and there are several steps you can take to make your outdoor space an inviting home for these delightful birds.

You must provide a reliable source of food for the hummingbirds. Hang a feeder filled with nectar made from a mixture of four parts water and one part sugar. Make sure to clean your feeder regularly and replace the nectar every three to four days to keep it fresh.

Planting flowers that produce nectar is also a great way to attract hummingbirds to your yard. Choose native plants attractive to these birds, such as bee balm, columbine, foxglove, and hollyhock.

Engagement of Hummingbirds in South Eastern Texas

Conclusion

The South West United States is a hot spot for hummingbird species, hosting a wide array, from the Black-chinned hummingbird to Anna’s hummingbird. These birds can be found in various environments, including deserts, woodlands, flower gardens, parks, and residential areas.

Spring and summer present the perfect opportunity to observe breeding behaviors, while fall migrations draw large numbers of hummingbirds as they journey to their wintering grounds. To observe these birds in your backyard, provide a hummingbird feeder or plant native flowers that produce nectar.

Avoid using pesticides and other chemicals that can damage hummingbirds and their habitats. Creating a hummingbird sanctuary in your backyard allows you to observe these beauties and help conserve their species.

Resources:

  • https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd571183.pdf
  • https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r3/plants-animals/wildlife/?cid=FSEPRD571070
  • https://www.umt.edu/this-is-montana/columns/stories/montana_hummingbirds.php

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