1. Black-chinned (Archilochus alexandri) _ Length 3.75″, wingspan 4.75″ (photo #1)
2. Calliope (Stellula calliope) _ Length 3.25″, wingspan 4.25″ (photo #2)
3. Rufous (Selasphorus rufus) _ Length 3.75″, wingspan 4.5″ (photo #3 is possibly a sub-adult Rufous)
What they eat: Nectar, small insects
Plants that attract: Tubular flowers such as penstemon, bee balm, honeysuckle, lantana, columbine, phlox, fuchsia, trumpet vine.
My observations: I have decided to group together the three hummingbirds that visit our garden every summer since they have similar needs and habits. I believe every gardener is delighted when these tiny marvels visit their garden! Their mastery of flight is amazing and they’re such beautiful creatures. They certainly are territorial, however, and squabble a lot over who has rights to the feeders. (note: if you want to set out a hummingbird feeder, follow the 1:4 ratio of one part sugar to four parts water when making syrup for them; also, it’s unnecessary to color the water with red dye)
I’ve never found a tiny hummingbird nest yet, but hope to someday. The birds migrate south in late summer to early fall.
While both male and female Black-chinned hummers have green backs, the males have green heads, black chins, purple bands around their necks, and black tail feathers; females have more drably-colored chins and breasts, as well as black- and white-tipped tail feathers.
Male and female Calliopes have smaller bodies than the Black-chins, green backs and more square tails; Calliope males have streaked, rose-colored throat patches and black tail feathers while the females’ tails have black-and-white-tipped tail feathers.
Female Rufous hummers have green backs and tail feathers that are rust-and green-colored with black tips; adult male Rufous hummers have rust-colored bodies and black-tipped tail feathers as well as absolutely stunning bronze-colored throat patches.
Here is the most amazing video I’ve captured yet, showing a hummingbird bathing on a wet peony leaf:
This next video is of a Black-chinned hummer sitting on a branch:
Back to My Backyard Birds