In the United States, there have been reports of almost 30 different hummingbird species. Certain of them are frequent while others are uncommon or unintentional visitors that appear once every year or so. In Alabama, we’ve identified two common or semi-common species of hummingbirds and seven more uncommon species. Hummingbirds have been seen in Alabama, a total of nine different species.
9 HUMMINGBIRDS IN ALABAMA
We’ve compiled a list of hummingbirds that may be seen in the state of Alabama based on range maps from trustworthy sources like allaboutbirds.org and ebird.org. The species name, images of what it looks like, description of appearance, and where and when you may observe them are all included for each species on this list. The two most frequent species will be mentioned first, followed by the seven uncommon species.
One of the greatest places in the United States is Central America, where most hummingbirds spend winter. Along the Gulf coast, birders can look for “accidental” hummingbirds that have strayed off course. As a result, Alabama’s extreme southern shore is a fantastic place to look for the hummingbird species that are otherwise uncommon in the eastern United States.
Visit this page to find out when hummingbirds will be returning to your area, and keep reading until the bottom of the page for advice on drawing hummingbirds to your yard.
1. RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Archilochus colubris
In the eastern part of the United States, including Alabama, ruby-throated hummingbirds are the most frequent hummingbirds. The back is green, while the underparts are white. The neck of a male is scarlet, and it may appear black under certain lighting.
They arrive in droves from Central America each spring, entering the country. Some of them make a non-stop flight across the Gulf of Mexico! Backyard nectar feeders and flowers are easy to attract ruby-throated hummingbirds.
In the spring and summer months, ruby-throated hummingbirds may be seen all over Alabama. Starting in March, they will move into the state, and in October, they will head south. Some people, particularly in Mobile and along the coast, may choose to stay for the whole year.
2. RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Selasphorus rufus
When it comes to sharing feeders and chasing other hummers, Rufous Hummingbirds are infamous for being very “feisty.” Males have an orange neck and breast with a white patch on the top. Green with rust patches on the neck, females are a speckled breed.
They travel up through California in the spring, spend the summer in the Pacific Northwest, and return to Canada before landing back in the Rockies in the fall. Rufous hummingbirds are probably the second most frequently seen species on the east coast behind ruby-throated hummingbirds, and they are considered a western U.S. hummingbird.
Throughout the state of Alabama, there have been reported sightings, although the most are near the Gulf coast. They are seen at least a few times each year, despite the fact that I wouldn’t necessarily classify them as common. Nevertheless, between November and April is when you would most likely notice them.
3. BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Archilochus alexandri
Every year, black-chinned hummingbirds travel from Mexico and Central America to the western United States to breed. In most light, males have a small strip of purple feathers along the bottom that is sometimes visible. Their throat color looks plain black. Females have a plain throat and are green above and pale below, similar to most hummingbird females. They prefer to perch on bare branches and can be found in a variety of environments, from deserts to mountain woods.
They have been seen in most states on the east coast, including Alabama, where there have been a few sightings over the years. They are a bird of the west coast, yet they have been sighted in numerous locations. In the state, they would still be uncommon, but you might get lucky if you go around the southern shore. The winter months are when the most sightings are seen.
4. CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Selasphorus calliope
The winter is spent in Central America by the calliope hummingbird, and the breeding season is spent in the Pacific Northwest and parts of western Canada. Given the calliope is the smallest bird in the United States, that’s an impressively long migration!
Males have a distinctive magenta stripe pattern on their throats that forks down on the sides. Plain females have a peachy tint to their underbodies and a few green spots on their neck.
On the east coast, Calliope Hummingbirds are uncommon, yet they have been seen in Alabama on a few occasions. The majority of sightings were around Mobile and Birmingham in the winter.
5. ALLEN’S HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Selasphorus sasin
Each year, these little creatures fly from Central America to California’s Pacific Coast to breed. It may be difficult to distinguish between the two because they have similar hues to the Rufous hummingbird.
Allen’s males have an orange back with a green throat, which is visible when they’re hunting. Females have dull green backs and brownish-orange flanks, with a speckled throat. In comparison to other hummingbirds, they migrate very early, arriving in California in January.
Allen’s are unusual in Alabama, and only a few have been seen there. During the winter months, you’d be most likely to see one of these “accidental” hummingbird visitors. Mobile and Montgomery have been the locations of most previous sightings.
6. ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Calypte anna
The fact is that Anna spends more time in the United States. They are found practically everywhere throughout their range all year, however they are only prevalent in a few western states, including California and Washington. Their feathers are speckled with emerald feathers, and their green is a bit brighter and more iridescent than that of most others. The colorful feathers extend up onto the forehead of males, who have rosy-pink throats.
On the east coast, Anna’s are fairly uncommon, but they do pop up from time to time. Between November and February, I only saw six or so eBird sightings in the state, all of which occurred in the month of February. It’s a rare occurrence, but not an impossible one.
7. BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Selasphorus platycerus
Hummingbirds that have a broad tail adore the highlands and breed at heights of up to 10,500 feet. The neck of males is a rosey-magenta color. The neck and cheeks of females are green, and the sides are buffy.
Except along the Gulf Coast, where they aren’t quite frequent but do appear from time to time, broad-tailed hummingbirds are uncommon in the eastern United States. As a result, the most likely place to notice one would be in the state’s southernmost shore. There have, however, been a couple of reported sightings in the state, so you never know!
8. BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Cynanthus latirostris
In the United States, there are just two states. Arizona and New Mexico are two states where the broad-billed hummingbird may be found. The purpleish-blue neck and blueish-green belly of males make it difficult to mistake them. Their beak is also reddish, with a black tip. Females have a typical black beak and are washed out green on top and grayish on the bottom.
Outside of the southwestern United States, broad-billed hummingbirds are extremely uncommon. They may sometimes be found in other states as well. Just a few sightings have been recorded in Alabama, mostly near the southern coastal end of the state during winter or early spring.
9. BUFF-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Amazilia yucatanensis
The little buff-bellied hummingbird, which lives in Mexico but just for a short time, visits the United States. The red beak, blue-green throat feathers, and a pale buffy belly are some of their most defining characteristics. The tail feathers of these birds are rusty brown, which is difficult to discern unless they spread them out.
The only place to see buff-bellied hummingbirds year-round in the United States is along Mexico’s eastern coast. It’s in Texas’ lower Rio Grande Valley, just over the border. Throughout the winter, they may be located from Texas to Florida’s panhandle, and they rise northward. When you stray farther north, it’s not uncommon to end up in the southeastern states. As a result, the best place to view one in Alabama is along the coast.
ATTRACTING HUMMINGBIRDS TO YOUR YARD
1. HANG HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS
Hang a nectar feeder in your yard, and you’ll be sure to attract hummingbirds. Hummingbirds must constantly feed in order to survive, and finding a dependable supply of nectar is important. Pick a feeder that’s simple to take apart and clean. It should have the color red on it. Cleansing and refilling should be done more than once a week in hot weather. For the majority of people, we suggest a saucer-shaped feeder. They’re easy to clean, function properly, and don’t hold a lot of nectar.
2. MAKE YOUR OWN NECTAR
By making your own nectar, you can avoid unnecessary (and sometimes harmful) additives. It’s inexpensive, simple to make, and quick. You can simply add plain white sugar to 1:4 water (1 cup sugar to 4 cups water) for instant sweetening. Creating your own nectar without having to boil the water is simple, as we explain in our how-to article.
3. PLANT NATIVE FLOWERS
Put up a few blooms in your yard that will draw passing hummingbirds, apart from a feeder. Red (as well as orange, pink, and purple) blooms, as well as trumpet or tubular-shaped blooms, are particularly appealing to them. Vertical planting might help you make the most of your space. Long cascading vines of flowers may be grown vertically on an obelisk trellis or a flat trellis attached to the side of your home. Hummingbirds enjoy these 20 plants and flowers.
4. PROVIDE WATER
Hummingbirds require both drinking and bathing water. They will utilize bath with appropriate “specifications,” despite the fact that they may find conventional bird baths too deep. You may buy a hummingbird bath or develop something wonderful for your property using these wonderful options.
5. PROMOTE INSECTS
Sugar isn’t enough for most hummingbirds, so they eat protein as well. Little insects make up a third of their diet. Mosquitoes, fruit flies, spiders, and gnats are among the insects. By avoiding pesticides, you can help your hummers. For more information on how to help feed insects to hummingbirds, see our 5 simple ways.