Hummingbirds in Washington State are delightful and vibrant species that capture the attention of birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. These tiny birds are a fascinating sight to see with their iridescent feathers and unique hovering flight.
Whether exploring the forests, gardens or simply observing from your backyard, encountering a hummingbird in Washington State is a joyful experience.
What Are The Most Common Hummingbirds In Washington State?
The most common hummingbirds of Washington State include the Anna’s Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Calliope Hummingbird, and the Black-chinned Hummingbird.
This blog post will explore the world of hummingbirds in Washington, including species like the year-round Anna’s Hummingbird and the migratory Rufous Hummingbird.
So, grab your binoculars, set up a hummingbird feeder, and join us as we appreciate the beauty of hummingbirds in Washington State.
Washington State Hummingbirds
According to the latest data from ebird, there are four observed species of hummingbirds in Washington. This data has been compiled from over 40,400 dedicated bird watchers throughout the state.
Here are some quick facts:
- Anna’s Hummingbirds are the most common observed in Washington
- Black-chinned Hummingbirds are the least widely observed species in Washington
- Anna’s Hummingbirds are the largest observed species in Washington
- Calliope Hummingbirds are the smallest observed species in Washington
- The Anna’s Hummingbird can regularly visit Washington State backyards that provide nectar feeders.
4 Types Of Hummingbirds In Washington State
Anna’s Hummingbirds are a tiny bird native to the west coast of North America and are year-round residents of Washington State.
- 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
The Anna’s Hummingbird is a stocky, medium-sized hummingbird with a short straight bill.
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.
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.
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 pacific coast of North America, from southern British Columbia to Baja California.
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 tubular flowers, like salvias, penstemons, and fuchsias.
They will also visit gardens that have nectar feeders with sugar water.
- Anna’s Hummingbirds are non-migratory, meaning they can be seen along the west coast of the United States all year round.
Rufous Hummingbirds are small bird found in the western half of North America and Mexico and are residents of Washington State during the summer 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
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.
Female Rufous Hummingbirds 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.
- 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.
The Calliope Hummingbird is a smallest migrating bird species found in western North America and Washington State during the summer 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
Calliope Hummingbirds are the smallest bird species in North America, measuring about 3 inches in length and weighing around 2-3 grams.
Male Calliope Hummingbirds 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.
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.
In the breeding season, you can spot Calliope Hummingbirds in mountainous areas with dense vegetation near streams.
In the non-breeding season, they spend their winters in mountainous woodland regions in Mexico.
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.
- 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.
The Black-chinned Hummingbird is a small bird species in the western United States and Mexico. They can be seen in Washington 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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What kind of hummingbirds live in Washington State?
Four kinds of Hummingbirds species live in Washington during the year. These include Anna’s Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Calliope Hummingbird, and the Black-chinned Hummingbird.
Do hummingbirds winter in Washington state?
Yes, only the Anna’s Hummingbird winters in the state of Washington. Other hummingbird species migrate to Washington State during the summer breeding season.
Are there Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in Washington State?
No, ruby-throated hummingbirds are not found in Washington State. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are more commonly found in the eastern half of North America during the spring and summer.
Keep An Eye Out For The Hummingbirds In Washington State
Hummingbirds are beautiful and unique birds found in many parts of the world. Four species of hummingbirds live in Washington State: the Anna’s Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Calliope Hummingbird, and the Black-chinned Hummingbird.
The rufous Hummingbird, Calliope Hummingbird, and Black-chinned Hummingbird are migratory visitors during the spring and summer; however, Anna’s Hummingbirds are the only hummingbirds that live in Washington State all year round.
All four of these hummingbirds feed on nectar and small insects and are also drawn to hummingbird feeders in residential backyards. Knowing more about these birds will help you appreciate their beauty and understand their behavior just a bit better.
Whether you’re a birding enthusiast or just someone who enjoys learning about nature, watching and observing the four kinds of hummingbirds in Washington will provide you with a newfound appreciation for these thrilling birds.
We hope this article has provided all the information you need. If you have questions about identifying more species of birds in Washington State or finding out which ones live near you, let us know!
We would love to help identify new bird species for our readers.