The Hummingbirds in Alabama are delightful to watch as they bring color and character to the state’s natural landscapes. With their iridescent plumage and mesmerizing hovering flight, these tiny birds are a source of fascination for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
Whether exploring the woodlands or simply enjoying your backyard, witnessing a hummingbird in Alabama is a memorable experience.
Types of Hummingbirds in Alabama
Alabama’s most commonly observed hummingbirds include the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Black-chinned Hummingbird, and the Buff-bellied Hummingbird.
This blog post will explore the different types of hummingbirds you can observe in Alabama, including species like the common Ruby-throated Hummingbird and accidental visitors like the Rufous Hummingbird.
According to the latest data from ebird, there are four observed species of hummingbirds in Alabama. This data has been compiled from over 14,800 dedicated bird watchers throughout the state.
Here are some quick facts:
- Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the most common observed in Alabama
- Buff-bellied Hummingbirds are the least widely observed species in Alabama
- Buff-bellied Hummingbirds are the largest observed species in Alabama
- Rufous Hummingbirds are the smallest observed species in Alabama
4 Types Of Hummingbirds In Alabama
1. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are tiny, colorful birds native to the eastern United States and parts of Canada, Mexico, and Central America. They are the most common hummingbirds of Alabama and can be seen throughout the state during the summer breeding season.
- Length: 7-9cm (2.8-3.5 inches)
- Weight: 2-6g (0.1-0.2oz)
- Wingspan: 8-11cm (3.1-4.3 inches)
- Ruby-throated Hummingbird Scientific Name: Archilochus colubris
- Spring Migration: March-May
- Fall Migration: August-September
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is a tiny bird with a slender bill and short wings.
They have metallic green feathers on their backs and crowns and whitish-gray underparts.
Male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have a brilliant iridescent red throat, black chin, and a blackish forked tail. Conversely, females have a white throat and large white tips on their tails.
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, especially males, are easy to identify because of their bright, iridescent colors.
Their wings are swift and blur-like when they fly, making it easy to spot them in flight. They also have a slender, curved beak, which they use to feed on nectar from flowers.
You can spot Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in various habitats, including open woodlands, gardens, backyards, and meadows.
They prefer to live in areas with abundant nectar sources, such as flowering plants and shrubs.
Hummingbirds are nectar feeders, and the Ruby-throated is no exception. They feed primarily on the nectar of flowering plants, but they also eat insects and spiders.
You can attract Ruby-throated Hummingbirds by placing a nectar feeder outside or planting yellow or red tubular flowers.
- Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the only species of hummingbird that breed in eastern North America.
- They are the smallest bird species found in the eastern United States.
- Hummingbirds have an incredible metabolism and their wings can beat up to 53 times per second.
- During migration, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can travel up to 2,000 miles from their breeding regions to their wintering areas in Central America and Mexico.
2. Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbirds are tiny birds found in the western half of North America and Mexico. They are not a common species in Alabama and have been known to be accidental visitors during their Spring and Fall migration seasons.
- Length: 7-9cm (2.8-3.5 inches)
- Weight: 2-5g (0.1-0.2oz)
- Wingspan: Avg 11cm (4.3 inches)
- Rufous Hummingbird Scientific Name: Selasphorus rufus
- Spring Migration: February-May
- Fall Migration: June-October
Rufous Hummingbirds have slender bodies, short wings, and a tapered tail.
Males have orange-brown or coppery rufous upperparts, sides, and tails. They have a striking, iridescent orange-red throat, and some have green specs on their backs.
Females have metallic green upperparts, white throats with bronze-colored spots, white underparts, and orange-brown or rufous sides.
You can identify Rufous Hummingbirds by their orange-brown coloration and the iridescent orange-red throat of the males.
They use a slender, curved beak to feed on nectar from flowers.
In flight, their wings are rapid and buzzing and known to hover in place for extended periods.
You can spot Rufous Hummingbirds in various habitats, including open woodlands, mountain meadows, forest edges, and gardens.
They breed in areas with forest edges that have dense understory in the Pacific Northwest.
During migration and winter, they can be seen in areas from California to Texas, Mexico, Central America, and the Gulf Coast coastal areas.
As with most hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbirds are primarily nectar feeders, consuming nectar from various flowers, including penstemons, columbines, and salvias.
They also eat small insects, which provide protein and other essential nutrients. They will also visit homes and backyards that have hummingbird feeders.
- Rufous Hummingbirds have one of the longest migrations of any North American hummingbird, traveling up to 3,000 miles from their breeding grounds in the Pacific Northwest to their wintering grounds in southern Mexico.
- They are one of the most aggressive hummingbirds and will defend their territory fiercely against other hummingbirds, even birds much larger.
- The Rufous Hummingbird is the most common hummingbird species found in Alaska.
3. Black-chinned Hummingbird
The Black-chinned Hummingbird is a small bird species in the western United States and Mexico. They are accidental visitors to Alabama during the summer breeding season.
- Length: Avg 9cm (3.5 inches)
- Weight: 2.3-5g (0.1-0.2oz)
- Wingspan: Avg 11cm (4.3 inches)
- Black-Chinned Hummingbird Scientific Name: Archilochus alexandri
- Spring Migration: March-May
- Fall Migration: August-October
Black-chinned Hummingbirds are metallic green above and whitish-pale below.
The male has a matte black chin, purple or violet throat, white breast, and a black, forked tail.
Females are paler and have a grayish-white face, throat, chest, and belly, with a shorter, white-tipped tail.
You can quickly identify male Black-chinned Hummingbirds by their metallic green back, crown, black chin, and purple throat.
They also tend to wag their tails when feeding, which is another quick way to identify these tiny hummingbirds.
Black-chinned Hummingbirds prefer to live in open woodlands, riparian areas such as streams and rivers, and gardens in the western half of North America.
Black-chinned Hummingbirds feed on nectar from flowers and small insects for protein and other essential nutrients. They also feed on sugar water from hummingbird feeders placed in backyards.
4. Buff-bellied Hummingbird
The Buff-bellied Hummingbird is a large hummingbird species found in Mexico, the southernmost regions of Texas, and the Gulf Coast. They can be seen in southern Alabama during the colder winter months.
- Length: 10-11 cm (3.9-4.3 inches)
- Weight: 2.9-4.7g (0.1-0.2oz)
- Wingspan: Avg 14.5cm (5.7 inches)
- Buff-bellied Hummingbird Scientific Name: Amazilia yucatanensis
Buff-bellied Hummingbirds have bright green backs, heads, chests, and throats, with a buff-cinnamon-colored belly and bright red bill.
Males have a more vibrant green coloration, and females have a mottled white chin.
You can identify Buff-bellied Hummingbirds by their bright green and buff coloration.
They use a medium-length bill to feed on nectar from flowers.
You can spot Buff-bellied Hummingbirds in semi-open wooded areas, thickets, and gardens of the southwest.
Buff-bellied Hummingbirds, like other hummingbird species, primarily feed on nectar from flowers, but they also consume small insects and nectar from backyard bird feeders.
They are attracted to red and orange tubular flowers, such as honeysuckle, trumpet creeper, and coralbean.
The Buff-bellied Hummingbird is a unique and beautiful bird species in Mexico and southern Texas. Their bright green and buff coloration quickly identifies them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What months do hummingbirds come out in Alabama?
The most likely hummingbird you will see in Alabama is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird and they visit during the breeding months from March to September.
Do any hummingbirds stay in Alabama?
No hummingbirds stay in Alabama all year round. Hummingbirds are migratory and only visit about four months out of the year.
How many types of hummingbirds are in Alabama?
Four kinds of Hummingbirds species live in Alabama during the year. These include Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Black-chinned Hummingbird, and Buff-bellied Hummingbird.
Keep An Eye Out For Hummingbirds In Alabama
Hummingbirds are a delightful addition to Alabama’s bird diversity. By understanding which species of hummingbirds have been observed in Alabama, you can better prepare for their arrival during the appropriate times of the year.
Expect to see the Ruby-throated Hummingbird throughout the state during the warmer months and the Buff-bellied Hummingbird along the southern Alabama coastline during the colder months. Though rare, there is an accidental chance you may see either a Rufous Hummingbird or a Black-chinned Hummingbird during the summer, spring, and fall.
Whether you’re a bird-watching enthusiast or just someone who enjoys learning about nature, taking some time to learn about the kinds of hummingbirds in Alabama will provide you with a newfound appreciation for these exciting birds.
Remember, you can attract hummingbirds to your backyard by providing nectar-rich flowers or setting up a hummingbird feeder filled with delicious sugar water.
We hope this article has provided all the information you need. If you have questions about identifying more bird species in Alabama or finding out which ones live near you, let us know!
We would love to help identify new bird species for our readers.