In the United States, there have been reports of about 30 distinct hummingbird species. Some of them are frequent while others are unusual or accidental visitors that only come once a year. Three species of hummingbirds have been documented to visit Kentucky, according to our research.
3 HUMMINGBIRDS IN KENTUCKY
We’ve compiled a list of hummingbirds that may be seen in Kentucky based on range maps provided by authoritative sources like allaboutbirds.org and ebird.org. The species name, images of what it looks like, information on how to identify it, and where and when you may find it are all included for each species listed in this list. From the most prevalent to the least prevalent, we’ll list them.
Keep an eye on the conclusion of this article for advice on bringing hummingbirds to your yard, and check out this article to find out when they’ll be back in your area.
1. RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Archilochus colubris
In the eastern part of the United States, Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the most common species of hummingbird. In Kentucky, they are the most prevalent hummingbird. The back of both sexes is green, while the underparts are white. The throat of males is a deep red color, but it may appear black in certain light.
In droves from their wintering grounds in Central America, they arrive in the country each spring. Many of them make a non-stop flight across the Gulf of Mexico! With nectar feeders and flowers, Ruby-throated hummingbirds are simple to attract to gardens.
During the spring and summer months, ruby-throated hummingbirds may be seen across Kentucky. They will return in April and May, then through late summer, returning to their wintering grounds in late September or early October.
2. RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Selasphorus rufus
When it comes to sharing feeders and chasing other hummers, Rufous hummingbirds are well-known for being “feisty.” Males are orange with a white patch on the upper breast and an orange-red throat. Greenish females with a speckled throat and rusty patches
They go up through California in the spring, spend the summer in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, then zip back down through the Rockies in the fall. The rufous is likely the second most commonly seen species on the east coast, behind the ruby-throated hummingbird, and is classified as a western US hummingbird.
While I wouldn’t call them frequent, they are seen at least a few times each year, with recorded sightings scattered across the state. It appears to be most common in late fall and winter, however it can occur at any time of year.
3. BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Archilochus alexandri
Every year, black-chinned hummingbirds travel north from Mexico and Central America to breed in the western United States. In most light, males have a simple black throat, although they do have a little purple feather band down the bottom that is sometimes visible. Females have a plain throat and are green above and pale below, similar to most hummingbird females. They like to perch on exposed 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 Kentucky, at least once, despite being a bird of the west coast. Even in the state, they would be considered uncommon, but you may get lucky. November through February are the most common sightings.
ATTRACTING HUMMINGBIRDS TO YOUR YARD
1. HANG HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS
Hanging a nectar feeder in your yard is perhaps the best way to attract hummingbirds. Hummingbirds need to feed every few hours, so it’s important to locate a dependable nectar source. Pick a feeder that’s simple to disassemble and clean, with the color red on it. Cleaning and replenishing should be done more than once a week in the summer. For most people, we recommend a saucer-shaped feeder. They are simple to keep clean, operate well, and don’t store an excessive quantity of nectar.
2. MAKE YOUR OWN NECTAR
By making your own nectar, you can avoid unnecessary (and sometimes harmful) additives. It’s budget-friendly, simple to use, and fast. Just add plain white sugar to water in a 1:4 ratio (1 cup sugar per 4 cups water). That’s all you need to do. Making your own nectar without boiling the water is simple, and we have a how-to guide for it.
3. PLANT NATIVE FLOWERS
Plant flowers in your yard that will attract passing hummingbirds, along with a feeder. Flowers with trumpet or tubular shaped blossoms, as well as red (as well as orange, pink, and purple) flowers, attract them. Vertical planting can help you save space. Long cascading vines of flowers may be grown on an obelisk trellis or a flat trellis attached to the side of your home. Hummingbirds will go crazy for these 20 plants and flowers.
4. PROVIDE WATER
Hummingbirds must drink and bathe in water. They will utilize baths with the appropriate “specifications,” even if they prefer standard bird baths. You can purchase amazing hummingbird bath products or ideas for a simple hummingbird yard bath.
5. PROMOTE INSECTS
Hummingbirds need protein as well as sugar to survive. Little insects account for up to a third of their diet. Mosquitoes, fruit flies, spiders, and gnats are all examples of this. By avoiding pesticides, you can help your hummers. Have a look at our 5 simple tips for more information on insect feeders and ways to encourage hummingbirds to eat.