4 Exciting Hummingbirds In Missouri to look our for

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Hummingbirds in Missouri

Seeing hummingbirds in Missouri is an exciting and memorable experience, and these tiny birds capture the attention of birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts throughout the state.

These tiny birds add color and joy to the natural surroundings with their iridescent feathers and incredible hovering flight.

What Are The Most Common Hummingbirds In Missouri?

The most common hummingbirds of Missouri include the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, and the Anna’s Hummingbird.

Whether traveling the prairies, exploring the forests and woodlands, or simply observing from their backyard, residents have the best chance to encounter a hummingbird during the summer breeding season in Missouri.

This blog post will explore the different types of hummingbirds observed in Missouri, including species like the common Ruby-throated Hummingbird and accidental visitors like the Rufous Hummingbird.

Missouri Hummingbirds

According to the latest data from ebird, there are four observed species of hummingbirds in Missouri. This data has been compiled from over 20,800 dedicated bird watchers throughout the state.

Here are some quick facts:

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the most common observed in Missouri
  • Anna’s Hummingbirds are the least widely observed species in Missouri
  • Anna’s Hummingbirds are the largest observed species in Missouri
  • Rufous Hummingbirds are the smallest observed species in Missouri

4 Types Of Hummingbirds In Missouri

1. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is a small, colorful bird native to the eastern United States and parts of Canada, Mexico, and Central America. They are the only common species of Hummingbird in MO and can be seen in 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

Appearance

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.

Males 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.

Identification

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.

Habitat

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.

Diet

Hummingbirds are nectar feeders, and the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is no exception. They feed primarily on the nectar of flowering tubular plants but also eat insects and spiders.

They have a high metabolism and must consume much food to maintain their energy levels. They are familiar visitors to Missouri’s backyards, and you can attract Ruby Throated Hummingbirds with hummingbird feeders that offer nectar or sugar water.

Interesting Facts

  • 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. Black-Chinned Hummingbird

The Black-chinned Hummingbird is a small bird species in the western United States and Mexico. They are an uncommon visitor to Missouri, but residents have made hummingbird sightings along the Ozark Plateau region in the spring and fall migration months.

  • 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

Appearance

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.

Identification

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.

Habitat

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.

Diet

Black-chinned Hummingbirds feed on nectar from flowers and small insects for protein and other essential nutrients. They also feed on sugar water from a nectar feeder placed in backyards.

3. Rufous Hummingbird

The Rufous Hummingbird is a small bird species found in the western half of North America and Mexico. They are rarely seen in Missouri, but residents have seen them in the southern Missouri areas during the colder non-breeding season.

  • 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

Appearance

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.

Identification

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.

Habitat

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.

Diet

As with most hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbirds are primarily nectar feeders, consuming nectar from various tubular flowers, including penstemons, columbines, and salvias.

They also eat small insects, which provide protein and other essential nutrients.

Interesting Facts

  • 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.

4. Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird is a tiny bird native to the west coast of North America. They are rare visitors to Missouri, but residents have seen them in the areas between St Louis and Kansas City during the fall migration season.

  • Length: 9-10cm (3.5-3.9 inches)
  • Weight: 3-6g (0.1-0.2oz)
  • Wingspan: Avg 12cm (4.7 inches)
  • Anna’s Hummingbird Scientific Name: Calypte anna
  • Migration: Non-migratory or very short distances in late summer to higher elevations

Appearance

Anna’s Hummingbirds are medium-sized birds with short straight bills and appear stockier than most hummingbirds.

Males are metallic greenish-gray, with a rose-pink throat and head. The female is duller with spotted underparts and a mottled greenish-bronze throat with rosy-red blotches.

Identification

You can identify male Anna’s Hummingbirds by the male’s vibrant rose-pink throat and head. This color often looks brown when not in direct sunlight.

Habitat

Anna’s Hummingbirds are adaptable and can be found in various habitats, including coastal areas, open woods, forests, gardens, and parks.

They are primarily found year-round along the western coast of North America, from southern British Columbia to Baja California.

Diet

As with most hummingbirds, Anna’s Hummingbirds primarily feed on nectar from flowers, but they also consume small insects for protein and other essential nutrients.

They are attracted to various flowers, including tubular-shaped ones like salvias, penstemons, and fuchsias.

They will also visit gardens that have hummingbird feeders with sugar water.

Interesting Facts

  • Anna’s Hummingbirds are non-migratory, meaning they can be seen along the west coast of the United States all year round.

Keep An Eye Out For Hummingbirds In Missouri

Hummingbirds are a welcome sight in Missouri, but residents are only likely to spot the Ruby-throated hummingbird throughout the year.

Other hummingbirds, such as the Rufous Hummingbird, Black-chinned Hummingbird, and Anna’s Hummingbird, are accidental visitors to Missouri but are easily identifiable.

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 Missouri 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 species of birds in Missouri or finding out which ones live near you, let us know!

We would love to help identify new bird species for our readers.

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Author
I am an avid birdwatcher with a passion for learning all I can about these fantastic creatures. I love finding new species of birds in my backyard, neighborhood, or when I travel. I enjoy sharing everything I learn about how these creatures live their lives; feedback and experience is much appreciated!

1 thought on “4 Exciting Hummingbirds In Missouri to look our for”

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