3 Types of Hummingbirds In Pennsylvania to attract

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Hummingbirds in Pennsylvania

Hummingbirds are delightfully entertaining creatures that bring vibrant color to any landscape. These tiny birds possess extraordinary agility and mesmerizing hovering flight. For birdwatchers and nature lovers in Pennsylvania, encountering a hummingbird is a true treasure, so what species of hummingbirds in Pennsylvania can you see throughout the year?

Whether exploring the woodlands, tending to your garden, or simply watching from your porch, encountering a hummingbird in Pennsylvania is a joyful experience.

What Are The Most Common Hummingbirds In Pennsylvania?

The most common hummingbird in Pennsylvania is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Two accidental vagrants visit the state on rare occasions. These include the Rufous Hummingbird and the Calliope Hummingbird.

This blog post will explore the different types of hummingbirds you can observe in Pennsylvania, including the dazzling Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a common summer resident, to occasional accidental visitors like the Rufous Hummingbird and Calliope Hummingbird in the winter months.

Pennsylvania Hummingbirds

According to the latest data from ebird, there are three observed species of hummingbirds in Pennsylvania. This data has been compiled from over 46,900 dedicated bird watchers throughout the state.

Here are some quick facts:

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the most common observed in Pennsylvania
  • Calliope Hummingbirds are the least widely observed species in Pennsylvania
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the largest observed species in Pennsylvania
  • Calliope Hummingbirds are the smallest observed species in Pennsylvania

3 Types Of Hummingbirds In Pennsylvania

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 most commonly observed hummingbirds in Pennsylvania and can be seen in the state during the summer spring and summer breeding seasons.

  • 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.

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.

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 from tubular flowers, but they also eat insects and spiders.

They have a high metabolism and must consume much food to maintain their energy levels.

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 often observed in the eastern half of North America, but there have been some observations in areas around the Appalachian Mountains during winter.

  • 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 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.

3. Calliope Hummingbird

The Calliope Hummingbird is a small bird species found in western North America. They are rarely seen in eastern North America, but there have been some observations in the Pittsburg area during the winter non-breeding season.

  • Length: 8-9cm (3.1-3.5 inches)
  • Weight: 2.3-3.4g (0.1oz)
  • Wingspan: 10-11cm (4.1-4.3 inches)
  • Calliope Hummingbird Scientific Name: Selasphorus calliope
  • Spring Migration: March-May
  • Fall Migration: July-September

Appearance

Calliope Hummingbirds are the smallest bird species in North America, measuring about 3 inches in length and weighing around 2-3 grams.

Males are green above and white below, with magenta stripes that run from the base of their bill down their chin and throats.

Females are green above and white and cinnamon below. Their throats are white with bronzy-green specs.

Identification

You can quickly identify male Calliope Hummingbirds by their small size and magenta-colored throats.

They have short, square, black tails and relatively short bills compared to other hummingbirds in your area.

Habitat

In the breeding season, you can spot Calliope Hummingbirds in mountainous areas with dense vegetation near streams.

They spend their winters in mountainous woodland regions in Mexico.

Diet

Calliope Hummingbirds feed on nectar from flowers and small insects for protein and other essential nutrients.

They will also visit hummingbird feeders that offer sugar-water mixes.

Interesting Facts

  • Calliope Hummingbirds are named after the Greek muse Calliope, who was associated with poetry and song.
  • They are the smallest bird in North America.
  • Calliope Hummingbirds have the longest migration of any North American hummingbird, traveling up to 5,000 miles each year between their breeding and wintering grounds

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

What months are hummingbirds in Pennsylvania?

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are in Pennsylvania from around April to October each year and then migrate south to its winter range in Central America from October to March.

How long do hummingbirds stay in Pennsylvania?

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird stays in Pennsylvania for about six months during the spring and summer breeding season.

What kind of hummingbirds are in Pennsylvania?

Only the Ruby-throated Hummingbird species is a consistent visitor in Pennsylvania during the year. Two accidental vagrants visit the state on rare occasions. These include the Rufous Hummingbird and the Calliope Hummingbird.

Keep An Eye Out For Hummingbirds In Pennsylvania

Hummingbirds are a beautiful sight throughout North America. With only one species of hummingbird native to Pennsylvania, seeing a Ruby-throated Hummingbird is a common sight in any backyard.

Other hummingbirds, such as the Rufous Hummingbird and Calliope Hummingbird, are accidental visitors to Pennsylvania in small areas during winter.

If you’re lucky enough to encounter one of these delightful birds, take in their dazzling, iridescent colors and graceful flight as they flit from flower to flower or at your backyard Hummingbird feeder.

Whether you’re a beginner or a long-time birdwatching enthusiast, watching Hummingbirds is a rewarding experience that will stay with you for years.

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 Pennsylvania 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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