13 Hummingbirds In California (Common & Rare)

Hummingbirds have been seen in the United States, according to some reports, from as many as 27 different species. Some are common year-round, while others are rare or accidental visitors. We have identified seven common or semi-common species of hummingbirds in California, as well as six that have been documented multiple times but are considered uncommon. California is one of the greatest places in America to feed and watch hummingbirds, with 13 different species of hummingbirds.


We’ve compiled a list of hummingbirds that may be seen in the state of California based on range maps from authoritative sources like allaboutbirds.org and ebird.org. Anna’s hummingbird, Allen’s hummingbird, Rufous hummingbird, Black-chinned hummingbird, and Costa’s hummingbird are the most frequent California hummers. The species name, images, and characteristics about appearance are all included in this list for each of the species. You may be able to locate them anywhere and at any time. The seven most frequent species will be listed first, followed by the six least frequent.

For advice on bringing hummingbirds to your property, stay tuned until the end of the article.



Scientific name: Archilochus alexandri

Every year, black-chinned hummingbirds fly north from Mexico and Central America to breed in the western United States. In most light, males throat appears to be a solid black, although they have a purple feather strip at the base that is sometimes visible. Females have a plain throat and are green above and light below, similar to other hummingbird females. From deserts to mountain woods, they like to perch on exposed branches and are found in a variety of habitats.

From spring through fall, look for black-chinned hummingbirds across California. However, during spring or fall migration, they will be easiest to see in many areas.


Scientific name: Selasphorus calliope

During the breeding season, the calliope hummingbird is most often seen in the Pacific Northwest and western Canada, although it may be seen in other western states during spring and fall migration. While the calliope is the tiniest bird in the United States, this is a truly remarkable leap! Males have a distinctive Magenta Striped Throat that forks down on the sides. Plain females have a peachy tint to their underparts and a few green flecks on the neck.

During migration, Calliope Hummingbirds only stop in a small portion of southern and coastal California. Along the state’s northern border and northeastern section, they will stop and stay for the summer. Tahoe National Forest, Yosemite National Park, San Bernardino National Forest, and Sequoia National Park are just a few of the places where they’re most often seen.


Scientific name: Selasphorus rufus

When it comes to sharing feeders and chasing off other hummers, rufous hummingbirds are known for being very “feisty.” Orange males with a white patch on the upper breast and an orange-red throat are found throughout the country. Green females with rusty patches and a speckled throat are the sexes. They go up through California in the spring, spend the summer in Oregon, Washington, and Canada, before returning down through the Rockies in the fall.

In early spring (March or April), rufous hummingbirds may be seen migrating north through California. They’re more frequently seen along the western edge of the state, near the Sierra Nevada mountains, during their return south in late summer. They might stay around for the whole season, especially in the state’s far northern reaches.


Scientific name: Calypte anna

In fact, Anna is spending the rest of her life in America. Although they can be found in a few western states, such as California, they are only found throughout much of their range. Their feathers are sprinkled with emerald feathers, making them appear to be a bit brighter and more iridescent than the rest of their species. The males’ throats are pink, and the feathers on their heads are vivid. They adore gardens and eucalyptus trees, and they are content in their


Anna’s are more prevalent around Death Valley and the Mojave Preserve, but can be found all throughout California during the year. They may stay around for the breeding season in the northeastern part of the state, but they will depart in the winter.


Scientific name: Calypte costae

The deep purple skin of male Costa Ricans is well-known. They feature purple feathers protruding out on both sides like a beard, with a touch of purple on their foreheads and neck. Green females have a white underside. Costa’s have slightly shorter wings and tail than other hummingbirds, making them compact. Baja and southern California are home to them all year.

Several go to the Death Valley and Mojave Preserve during the summer from Mexico. There do go up north, and there are occasional sightings up to San Francisco and Sacramento, though they become much more rare farther north. They are mostly hummingbirds from southern California, but there are some that go as far north as Texas.


Scientific name: Selasphorus sasin

Every year, these little guys travel from Central America to California’s Pacific Coast to breed. It may be difficult to tell the difference between these two birds because their coloring is very similar. The back and throat of Allen’s males are orange, with a green tint. The back and flanks of females are dull green, with a speckled throat. In comparison to other hummingbirds, they migrate to California in January, much earlier. In addition, they can head south sooner, sometimes in May or June.

Allen’s are fairly ubiquitous in California, with the exception of a few coastal sightings. They can be found along the coast, from north to south. During spring and fall migrations, you may be able to see them a little farther inland.


Scientific name: Selasphorus platycerus

Hummingbirds in the broad-tailed variety breed at elevations up to 10,500 feet in the mountains. The neck of a male is magenta in color. The neck and cheeks of females are speckled with green, and the sides are buffy.

In the United States, broad-tailed hummingbirds are only here for a few weeks. Look for them in meadows and forest clearings between May and August. Death Valley, Yosemite, and the Sierra National Forest are among the few places in California where they are common. They may, however, be seen in additional locations, particularly in the state’s southern region.


Scientific name: Eugenes fulgens

The magnificent hummingbird used to be called the Rivoli’s hummingbird. The male has a brighter teal-colored neck, with a dark purple head. Green and brown are their colors. They can seem to be quite gloomy in certain light. This coloration is only seen in females, who are green on top and white on the bottom. With a longer beak, they are somewhat bigger than most hummingbirds seen in the United States. They prefer shady canyons and hilly forests, and are mostly found in Mexico.

In California (along the coast), Rivoli’s hummingbird has only been seen a few times, making it a very unusual sight.


Scientific name: Lampornis clemenciae

The biggest hummingbird species in the United States, the blue-throated mountain gem, nests here. Only Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas have a high population of them. The face of both sexes is striped with two white stripes, a green back, and a gray breast. The neck of males is a vivid blue color. Look for them in flower-lined streams in the wild. They only visit the United States for a few months at a time. However, if they discover a particularly good feeding site during the breeding season, they may remain there into the winter.

Just a few times in the southern tip of the state (Los Angeles and south), the blue-throated mountain gem has been spotted.


Scientific name: Archilochus colubris

In the eastern part of the United States, ruby-throated hummingbirds are common, but not in the west. The back is green and the underparts are white. Males have a black neck that may look crimson in certain lighting conditions. They arrive in droves from their Central American wintering grounds each spring. A single flight across the Gulf of Mexico is used by many people heading to the eastern United States.

Only rarely do ruby-throated hummingbirds appear in California, and they are considered uncommon. The coast is the most common location for sightings.


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 is known to breed. With their purpleish-blue neck and blueish-green belly, males are difficult to mistake. An orange beak with a black tip is also present. The typical black beak is found on females, who are a washed-out green above and grayish below.

Although broad-billed hummingbirds aren’t often seen in California, they have been observed a few dozen times in certain regions. Between San Francisco and Monterey, the outskirts of Los Angeles, or San Diego, your best bet may be along the coast.


Scientific name: Colibri thalassinus

The Mexican violetear, which is only found in Mexico and Central America, has been observed in a number of US states, notably Texas. They’re bigger hummingbirds with iridescent purple on their cheek and black wings. They have an emerald green body. In California, the Mexican violetear is considered uncommon, although it is still possible to come across one from time to time.


Scientific name: Leucolia violiceps

This little gem is native to Mexico and has been known to migrate into the southwestern United States on occasion. With a purple head and an orange beak with a black tip, they have a dark gray back and pure white front. In California, particularly south of San Jose, the violet-crowned hummingbird has been sighted on occasion. They are unusual visitors to the state, according to locals.



Hanging a nectar feeder in your garden is perhaps the finest way to attract hummers. Hummingbirds must constantly eat and must have a dependable source of nectar. Pick a feeder that is simple to disassemble and clean, and choose one with the color red on it. Cleaning and refilling should be done more often than weekly in hot weather. For most people, we recommend a saucer-shaped feeder. They are simple to clean, operate properly, and don’t store a large quantity of nectar.


By making your own nectar, you’ll be able to avoid (and sometimes deadly) additives. It’s a great deal, it’s simple to use, and it works. Just mix plain white sugar and water in a 1:4 ratio (1 cup sugar to 4 cups water) and you’re done. Without having to boil the water, we have an simple how-to article on producing your own nectar.


Plant flowers in your yard that will attract passing hummingbirds, other than a feeder. They are particularly drawn to crimson blossoms (as well as orange, pink, and purple blossoms), as well as trumpet or tubular-shaped blooms. Vertical plantings might help you get the most out of your space. Long cascading vines of flowers can be placed on a vertical surface made out of an obelisk trellis or a flat trellis attached to the side of your home. Hummingbirds love these 20 plants and flowers, so take a look.


Hummingbirds need water to survive and clean themselves. They will utilize baths with the proper “specifications,” despite their aversion to deep bird baths. Browse through several options for purchasing a hummingbird bath, as well as ideas for making something beautiful in your garden.


Sugar isn’t enough for most hummingbirds, so they need protein as well. Little insects make up a third of their diet. Mosquitoes, fruit flies, spiders, and gnats are among the insects that may be found. By avoiding pesticides, you can help your hummers. Our 5 simple methods will help you feed insects to hummingbirds, as well as additional advice on insect feeders.

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