Hummingbirds have been spotted in the United States, according to reports, as many as 27 different species. Some are regular visitors, while others are unusual or accidental visitors. We have discovered two common or semi-common species of hummingbirds and six that are uncommon in North Carolina. Hummingbirds have been seen in North Carolina, a total of eight species.
8 HUMMINGBIRDS IN NORTH CAROLINA
We’ve compiled a list of hummingbirds that may be seen in the state of North Carolina based on range maps from trustworthy sources like allaboutbirds.org and ebird.org. The species name, images of what it looks like, characteristics about appearance, and where and when you may observe them are all included for each species in this list. The two most frequent species will be listed first, followed by the six less frequent species.
Keep reading after the conclusion of this article to learn more about bringing hummingbirds to your yard, and read this article to find out when they’ll be returning to your area.
1. RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Archilochus colubris
In the eastern part of the United States, Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the most prevalent hummingbird. The back is green, while the underparts are white. The neck of males is ruby red, which can appear black under certain light. They arrive in huge numbers from their Central American wintering grounds every spring. In one non-stop flight, many of them fly over the Gulf of Mexico! With nectar feeders and flowers, Ruby-throated hummingbirds are very easy to attract to yards.
Throughout the spring and summer months, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds may be seen throughout North Carolina. In April and May, they will arrive, and in September, they will depart.
2. RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Selasphorus rufus
When it comes to sharing feeders and chasing other hummers, rufous hummingbirds are well-known for being extremely “feisty.” The upper breast is white in males, and the neck is orange-red. Green with rusty patches on the neck, females have a speckled throat. They go up through California in the spring, through the Pacific Northwest and Canada in the summer, then back down through the Rockies in the fall.
The Rufous Hummingbird is the second most commonly seen species on the east coast behind the ruby-throated hummingbird, despite its status as a western U.S. hummingbird. Western North Carolina, particularly in mountainous and wooded areas, or right along the coast, has a higher concentration of reported sightings. The majority of sightings take place in the winter or early spring.
3. BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Archilochus alexandri
Each year, black-chinned hummingbirds travel from Mexico and Central America to the western United States to breed. In most light, males throat appears to be a pure black, with a little purple feather strip at the bottom that is occasionally visible. Females have a plain throat and are green on top with a pale beneath. They look like other hummingbird females. They like to perch on bare branches and can be found in a variety of habitats, from deserts to mountain woods.
Although they are found on the west coast, they have been seen in a variety of east coast states, including North Carolina, where there have been a few sightings over the years. For the state, they would be considered uncommon, but you might get lucky.
4. CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Selasphorus calliope
The calliope hummingbird breeds in the Pacific Northwest and parts of western Canada throughout much of the year, but spends the winter in Central America. The calliope is the smallest bird in the United States, so that’s an impressively long migration! The throat pattern of males is distinctive, with magenta streaks branching down the sides. The throat of females is plain, and their underparts are peach-colored.
On the east coast, Calliope Hummingbirds are uncommon, but in North Carolina, a dozen or so have been seen. The majority of observations seem to take place in the winter and early spring.
5. BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Selasphorus platycerus
Hummingbirds from the broad-tailed variety breed at elevations up to 10,500 feet in the mountains. Thethroat of males is rosey-magenta in color. The throat and cheeks of females are green, while the belly is buffy yellow. The western United States is where they are most common. From Texas to the Florida panhandle, it has a small population along the Gulf of Mexico. Hummingbirds may be seen in the southern states on rare occasions, however they are extremely uncommon in North Carolina.
6. ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Calypte anna
In fact, Anna will be staying in the United States. They can be found in a limited number of western states, such as California, Arizona, and Oregon, all year within most of their range. Their feathers are speckled with emerald feathers, and the green of their feathers is more vivid and iridescent than that of most others. The vivid feathers on males’ foreheads extend up to their cheeks and have rosy-pink throats. Backyards are where they feel most comfortable, and gardens and eucalyptus trees are their favorites.
On the east coast, Anna’s are very uncommon, having been sighted a few times in North Carolina.
7. BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Cynanthus latirostris
Mexico is home to the broad-billed hummingbirds, while the United States has just two states. Arizona and New Mexico are two states where they are known to breed. The purplish-blue throat and blueish-green belly of males make them difficult to mistake. An orange beak with a black tip is also present. The typical black beak is present on females, who are a washed-out green above and grayish below.
Other southern states have reported occasional sightings, but North Carolina has only reported one or two.
8. ALLEN’S HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Selasphorus sasin
Every year, these little guys travel from Central America to California’s Pacific Coast to breed. It can be difficult to tell the two apart because they have such similar coloring to Rufous hummingbirds. The males of Allen are orange with a green back and an orangey-red throat. The neck of females is speckled, and the flanks are brownish-orange. In comparison to other hummingbirds, they migrate relatively early, arriving in California in January.
Allen’s is a exceedingly uncommon sight in North Carolina, with just a few sightings there.
ATTRACTING HUMMINGBIRDS TO YOUR YARD
1. HANG HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS
Hanging a nectar feeder in your yard may be the best way to attract hummingbirds. Hummingbirds must consume often in order to survive, and finding a dependable source of nectar is critical. Pick a feeder that’s simple to disassemble and clean, and has the color red on it. Cleaning and refilling must be done more frequently in hot weather than just once a week. For the majority of people, we suggest a saucer-shaped feeder. They’re super simple to keep clean, function properly, and don’t hold a lot of nectar.
2. MAKE YOUR OWN NECTAR
Make your own nectar and eliminate (and occasionally deadly) additives and red dyes. It’s inexpensive, simple, and fast. Add plain white sugar to water in a 1:4 ratio (1 cup sugar to 4 cups water) and you’re ready to go. Creating your own nectar without having to heat the water is simple, as we show in this how-to article.
3. PLANT NATIVE FLOWERS
Plant flowers in your yard that hummingbirds will flock to, in addition to a feeder. They have a special affinity for red blooms (as well as orange, pink, and purple blooms with trumpet or tubular forms), as well as blossoms of this shape. Vertical plantings may help you save space. Long cascading vines of flowers can be grown on an obelisk trellis or a flat trellis attached to the side of your house. Hummingbirds will like these 20 flower and plant choices.
4. PROVIDE WATER
Hummingbirds need to drink and bathe in water. They will use baths with the appropriate “specifications,” despite the fact that they may find traditional bird baths too deep. You may buy a hummingbird bath or you may make one for your yard with these fantastic ideas.
5. PROMOTE INSECTS
Sugar isn’t enough for most hummingbirds, so they need protein as well. Little insects account for a third of their diet. Mosquitoes, fruit flies, spiders, and gnats are among the insects that cause it. Avoid pesticides to help your hummers. Our 5 simple tricks will help you feed insects to hummingbirds, as well as other tips on bug feeders.