Hummingbird Identification
How to Identify a Hummingbird

Hummingbird Identification is determined by several characteristics of each species. The characteristics needed to identify a hummingbird are the gorget or the colored patches of feathers on the throat, the length of the bill, shape and features of the tail, body size, color and the range or locations of inhabitancy.


Hummingbird Identification List


Common North America Hummingbirds

    Allen's:

  • Throat
    male - brilliant orange red
    -female - white and speckled with green and bronze
  • Bill 
    - straight, medium length
  • Tail- long pointed black tipped tail
  • Range
    California coast, southern Oregon
  • Body
    - male - iridescent green back, underparts white with a rufous "vest"
       
    - female - similar to Rufous(hard to distinguish),green back, white and rufous underparts
Allen's Hummingbird MaleAllen's Male
Allen's Hummingbird FemaleAllen's Female

Anna's:

  • Throat 
    - male-rose red,includes the head and extends down the sides
    -female-only a splash of red on throat
  • Bill 
    - long and slender
  • Tail 
    - dark,tipped with white
  • Range
    - California coast-does not migrate
  • Body 
    - male-iridescent green back,greyish underparts
    -female-geeen,grey chest and belly
Anna's Hummingbird MaleAnna's Male
Anna's Hummingbird FemaleAnna's Female

Bahama Woodstar:

  • Throat 
    - male-glittering purple     
    -female-all white
  • Bill 
    - long,slightly curved
  • Tail 
    - blackish purple forked tail
  • Range 
    - the Bahamas except the Great and Little Inagua Islands
  • Body 
    - male-green gold backs, olive buff underparts, white flanks
    -female-similar to males lack forked tail
Bahama Woodstar MaleBahama Woodstar Male
Bahama Woodstar FemaleBahama Woodstar Female

Berylline:

  • Throat
     
    - male-apple green to turquoise includes head
    -female-plain
  • Bill 
    - straight, red below, black above
  • Tail 
    - dark with some purple violet, square to slightly notched
  • Range 
    - Southeastern Arizona, Texas
  • Body 
    - male-irridesent olive green brownish grey cinnamon and white underparts
    -female-similar to male but plainer
Berylline Hummingbird MaleBerylline Male
Berylline Hummingbird FemaleBerylline Female

Black-chinned:

  • Throat
    - male-black and purple at base
    -female-whitish with brown spots
  • Bill
    - medium length
  • Tail
    - long deeply notched extends beyond wingtips
  • Range
    -West and Southwest, spotted in southeast
  • Body
    - male-green above,pale grey and whitish underparts
    -female-dull green, pale grey to whitish underparts
Black-chinned Hummingbird MaleBlack-chinned Male
Black-chinned Hummingbird FemaleBlack-chinned Female

Blue-throated:

  • Throat 
    - male-blue
    - female-plain grey
  • Bill 
    - long,slightly curved
  • Tail 
    - long,blue/black with broad white tips
  • Range 
    - Southwestern Arizona, Western Texas, Southern New Mexico
  • Body 
    - male-dull green on top, medium grey on belly
    - female-similar but lacks the blue throat
Blue-throated Hummingbird MaleBlue-throated Male
Blue-throated Hummingbird FemaleBlue-throated Female

Broad-billed:

  • Throat
    - male-dazzling sapphire blue
    - female-plain
  • Bill
    - male-long, vivid red
  • Tail
    - long
  • Range
    - Southwestern United States, occasional in Texas and Louisiana
  • Body
    - male-emerald green back, whitish to grey underparts
    - female-green back, grey underparts

(Note: sometimes confused with the Buff-bellied both have red beaks)

Broad-billed Hummingbird MaleBroad-billed Male
Broad-billed Hummingbird FemaleBroad-billed Female

Broad-tailed:

  • Throat
    - male-brilliant rose red or hot pink
    - female-evenly speckled greenish-bronze
  • Bill
    - long, straight
  • Tail
    - long, broad
  • Range - Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming
  • Body
    - male-green upper, white with grey green underparts
    - female-green above - grey below
Broad-tailed Hummingbird MaleBroad-tailed Male
Broad-tailed Hummingbird FemaleBroad-tailed Female

Buff-bellied:

  • Throat
    - male-iridescent green
    - female-muted iridescent green
  • Bill
    - slightly curved, red with black tip
  • Tail
    - rounded
  • Range
    - Gulfcoast of Texas, Winter sightings in Western Florida, Central Texas, Arkansas
  • Body
    - olive green back, cinnamon underparts

(Note: the largest hummingbird in the United States)

Buff-bellied Hummingbird MaleBuff-bellied Male
Buff-bellied Hummingbird FemaleBuff-bellied Female

Calliope:

  • Throat
    - male-red streaks over a white background
    - female-dusky bronze
  • Bill
    - short, straight,black
  • Tail
    - very short black with white tips
  • Range
    - Pacific Northwest, Interior West
  • Body
    - male-bright green above, creamy white underparts
    - female-pinkish flanks,dark streaks near the throat
Calliope Hummingbird MaleCalliope Male
Calliope Hummingbird FemaleCalliope Female

Costa's:

  • Throat
    - male-metallic purple with long extensions
    - female-unmarked or has a small patch of metallic violet
  • Bill
    - short,thin,slightly curved
  • Tail
    - rounded
  • Range
    -Southern desserts, Pacific Coastal Areas
  • Body
    - male-green above, pale green underparts
    - female-green to golden green underparts
Costa's Hummingbird MaleCosta's Male
Costa's Hummingbird FemaleCosta's Female

Cuban Emerald:
(natives call this hummingbird Zun-zun)

  • Throat
    - male 
  • - female-grey
  • Bill
    - short with a black upper beak and a red lower beak with a black tip
  • Tail
    - deeply fork
  • Range
    - Grand Bahama, Great Abaco and Andos Islands, some in rest of Bahamas, vagrants in Florida
  • Body
    - male- almost completely metallic or iridescent green, whitish spot behind eye
    - female-green above,grey breast and underparts, whitish spot behind eye
Cuban Emerald Hummingbird MaleCuban Emerald Male
Cuban Emerald Hummingbird FemaleCuban Emerald Female

Lucifer:

  • Throat
    - male-purple
    - female-white with cinnamon 
  • Bill
    - long, curved
  • Tail
    - long deeply forked with narrow outer feathers
  • Range
    - Rare but increasing sightings in the Southwest 
  • Body
    - male-green above, white underparts
Lucifer Hummingbird MaleLucifer Male
Lucifer Hummingbird FemaleLucifer Female

    Ruby-throated:

  • Gorget/Throat
     - male - ruby red
     - female - plain
  • Bill 
     - long, slightly curved, black
  • Tail 
    - deeply notched
  • Range 
    - only breeds east of the Mississippi
  • Body
    - male - iridescent green back white breast around sides of neck, red gorget
    - female - iridescent                   green back grey green             sides 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird MaleRuby-throated Male
Ruby-throated Hummingbird FemaleRuby-throated Female

Rufous:

  • Throat
    -male-billiant scarlet to orange
    -female-whithish,marked with green to bronze
  • Bill
    - medium short black
  • Tail
    - rounded
  • Range
    - Northwest, farther north than any hummingbird includes Alaska, Eastern vagrant in winter
  • Body
    - male-upper rufous, green underparts, white rufous vest - female bright green back, white underparts with rufous

(Note: The adult female is almost the same as an immature Allen's but has a broader tail with a notched tip)


Rufous Hummingbird MaleRufous Male
Rufous Hummingbird FemaleRufous Female

White-eared:

  • Throat
    - male-extended solid turquoise green
    - female-streaked or spotted
  • Bill
    - coral red with black tip
  • Tail
    - long square slightly forked
  • Range
    - Southeaster Arizona, Southwestern New Mexico, Western Texas
  • Body
    - male-white ear stripe arches over eye, upperparts   turquise, underparts green with a white belly stripe
White-eared Hummingbird MaleWhite-eared Male
White-eared Hummingbird FemaleWhite-eared Female

  Xantus:

  • Throat
    - male-green with green spangles
    - female-plain
  • Bill
    - long, red with black tip
  • Tail
    - long, bright rusty
  • Range
    - limited to Baja California
  • Body
    - male-upper parts bright green to bronze, with black mask, white ear stripe, underparts rufous
    - female-has black mask, white ear stripe, underparts pale cinnamon

 

Xantus Hummingbird MaleXantus

Rare North America Sightings:

Antillean Crested:

  • Head
    - distinctive crested with a metallic tip
  • Bill
    - short
  • Tail
    - short
  • Range
    - vagrant-one sighting in Texas-specimen in American Museum of Natural history
  • Body
    - male-mostly dark
Antillean Crested MaleAntillean Crested Male
Antillean Crested FemaleAntillean Crested Female

Cinnamon:

  • Throat
    - male-cinnamon
    - female-plain
  • Tail
    - square,rufous,green gold tipped
  • Bill
    - long
  • Range
    - vagrant in Southwestern United States
  • Body
    - bronze green back, cinnamon underparts
Cinnamon HummingbirdCinnamon Hummingbird

Green-breasted Mango:

  • Throat
    - male-dark emerald green with broad strips
    - female-white with black stripe
  • Bill
    - long, curved
  • Tail
    - square to slightly notched
  • Range
    - Texas vagrant
  • Body
    - male-metallic green with a patch of blue violet on the ear
    - female-bronze-green upperparts,white underparts
Green-breasted MangoGreen Breasted Mango

Green Violet-ear:

  • Throat
    - male-bright green,blue purple ear patch
    - female-duller gorget,has blue purple ear patch
  • Bill
    -long,straight,red with black tip
  • Tail
    -forked
  • Range
    -rare sightings in Southwestern Arizona,    Southwestern New Mexico, Western Texas
  • Body
    -male-white eye stripe arches over eye, upperparts  turquoise, underparts green with a white belly stripe
Green Violet-earGreen Violet-ear

Magnificient:

  • Throat
    - male-apple green to turquoise green
    - female-plain
  • Bill
    long
  • Tail
    - long, straight
  • Range
    - rare sightings in Southwest
  • Body
    - green above, grey underparts
Magnificent Hummingbird MaleMagnificent Male
Magnificent Hummingbird FemaleMagnificent Female

Plain-capped Starthroat:

  • Throat
    - male-metallic-violet red
    - female-band of on lower throat
  • Bill
    - very long straight black
  • Tail
    - slightly notched bronze green
  • Range
    - rare sightings Southeastern Arizona and New Mexico
  • Body
    - male-dull green to olive upperparts, bronze underparts - female-resembles male but slightly less colorful

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