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The Black-chinned (Archilochus alexandri) is considered to be the western counterpart of the Ruby-throated. It is very abundant, adaptable and will be found from central Mexico to southwestern Canada. The Black-chinned will mostly be found west of a line from central Texas to the western border of Montana. KEY CHARACTERISTICS The male's gorget appears entirely black, however when light strikes it perfectly you will be rewarded with it's true color, a brilliant amethyst violet. The male also has a white collar to contrast with it's dark head. DISTRIBUTION Breeds from south-central Mexico north through western half of Texas, extreme southwestern Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, southwestern Colorado, Idaho, western Montana, eastern Oregon and Washington, southern British Columbia, and many parts of California. Winters as far north as the Gulf coast including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama/Georgia and Florida, but primarily in south-central Mexico and along the southwestern Pacific Coast of Mexico. Vagrants have been spotted in North and South Carolina, New Jersey, South Dakota, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ontario.


The Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus) is considered to be the most common hummingbird nesting in the Rocky Mountains and will be found in good numbers north to Wyoming and Idaho. They are very early migrants in the spring and don't seem to mind arriving before the snow has melted away. The species name means "broad tail" in Greek. KEY CHARACTERISTICS The Broad-tailed is a medium sized hummingbird with a long tail and a medium long straight black bill. The adult male has a brilliant gorget shading from hot pink to rose red, contrasting with a white breast. DISTRIBUTION Breeds from Wyoming and central Idaho south all the way to Guatemala. Any Broad-tailed spotted outside of Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico should be considered lost and provided a map to return home. Vagrants have been spotted from California north to British Columbia, Texas north to South Dakota and as far east as Indiana and Georgia.


The Calliope Hummingbird (Stellula calliope) is the smallest of all hummingbirds that breed in the U.S. in fact an adult weighs about the same as a penny! They are nearly silent which is ironic because their species name in Greek means "beautiful voice". KEY CHARACTERISTICS The Calliope Hummingbird is very small with a very short tail and a short black bill. The adult male has a gorget that consists of red to reddish-purple streaks over a white background which is very unique. DISTRIBUTION Breeds primarily in the higher elevations from northern Baja California north to south eastern British Columbia, east to western Montana and western Wyoming. While definitely concentrated in the Northwest, vagrants have been spotted in much of the central U.S. as well as the Southeast.


The Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens) is deserving of its impressive name by its dramatic size and color. The adult males are a gaudy dark emerald with a brilliant metallic violet to purple crown. The Magnificent was formerly known as the Rivoli's Hummingbird in honor of Victor Massena, Duke of Rivoli. KEY CHARACTERISTICS The Magnificent is the second largest hummingbird to visit North America. It is slim with a long neck, bill, and tail. The adult males plumage will be a dark emerald and the crown will will appear metallic and range from violet to purple. Behind the eye will be a triangular white spot which will contrast with the dark face. DISTRIBUTION The Sky Islands mountain ranges of west Texas, south-east Arizona, and south-western and south-central New Mexico are where the Magnificent hummingbird breeds. Young males tend to be nomads and have been documented in a number of states including Colorado, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Minnesota, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.


The Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) has a temperament to match its beautiful fiery color. Its very aggressive nature can make him unwelcome at feeders if you want other visitors as well. Maybe the Rufous's temperament correlates to the difficult nature of the travels they endure each year with the annual migration as they breed further north than any other hummingbird and travel incredible distances to do so. KEY CHARACTERISTICS The Rofous hummingbird is relatively small with a medium-short bill that is all black. The plumage is a beautiful rust color (rufous) and may be speckled with green. You will definitely know when you see one. DISTRIBUTION Breeds from extreme north-western California, most of Oregon and Washington, central and northern Idaho, western Montana, most of British Columbia, north to coastal southeast Alaska. The Rufous possibly should be nicknamed The Wanderer due to the fact that they are strongly prone to wandering during the fall migration. At this time they could appear almost anywhere in North America. Maybe they are just taking their time to return to their winter homes primarily in Mexico or occasionally along the U.S. Gulf Coast.