2 Exciting Hummingbirds in New York State to attract

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Hummingbirds in New York State

Observing Hummingbirds in New York State is an exciting and memorable experience that captivates the hearts of birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts throughout the state. These tiny birds are a joy to watch with their incredible hovering flight and iridescent feathers.

Whether you’re exploring New York State’s Mountains, hiking through the forests of the Adirondacks, or observing them in your backyard, seeing a hummingbird in New York State is an incredible experience.

What Are The Most Common Hummingbirds In New York State?

The most common hummingbirds of New York State include the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and Rufous Hummingbird.

This blog post will explore the two types of hummingbirds you will likely see in New York: the famous Ruby-throated Hummingbird and the accidental visitor, the Rufous Hummingbird.

New York State Hummingbirds

According to the latest data from ebird, there are two observed species of hummingbirds in New York State. This data has been compiled from over 64,800 dedicated bird watchers throughout the state.

Here are some quick facts:

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the most commonly observed in New York
  • Rufous Hummingbirds are the uncommon visitors to New York
  • Rufous Hummingbirds are the largest observed species in New York State
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are just a bit smaller than Rufous Hummingbirds

2 Types Of Hummingbirds In New York

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 medium to long-distance migrators and can be seen throughout New York State in 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 Hummingbirds 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.


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 Hummingbird is no exception. They feed primarily on the nectar of flowering plants, but they also eat insects and spiders.

They have a high metabolism and must consume much food to maintain their energy levels, and are familiar visitors to New York’s backyard hummingbird feeders in the summer.

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. Rufous Hummingbird

The Rufous Hummingbird is a small bird species found in the western half of North America and Mexico. They are not very common in the eastern half of North America, but there have been sightings of these tiny birds around the Syracuse area during the fall migration 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


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’ primary food source is nectar, which they consume from various tubular flowers, including penstemons, columbines, and salvias.

They also eat small insects and visit hummingbird feeders during fall migration.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many types of hummingbirds are in New York?

There are two types of Hummingbirds seen in New York during the year. Only the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is a regular visitor during the summer, and the Rufous Hummingbird is an accidental visitor to the state during the fall migration season.

How long do hummingbirds stay in New York?

Hummingbirds are only seen in New York for a few months before they migrate south for winter.

Keep An Eye Out For Hummingbirds In New York State

Hummingbirds are a beautiful sight throughout North America, but residents of New York State only get to see the Ruby-throated hummingbird regularly during the breeding season.

The other unlikely visitor is the Rufous Hummingbird, and it is genuinely a rare sight, with residents reporting sightings of this tiny bird around the Syracuse area during the fall migration season.

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 you will likely see in New York State will provide you with a newfound appreciation for these exciting birds.

Remember, you can also 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 New York State 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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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!

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