Hummingbirds have been spotted in the United States in almost 30 different species. While some are uncommon or accidental visitors, others are frequent and can be found every year. We have identified two common or semi-common species of hummingbirds in Tennessee, as well as five rare species. Hummingbirds have been seen in Tennessee seven times.
7 HUMMINGBIRDS IN TENNESSEE
We’ve compiled a list of hummingbirds that may be seen in Tennessee based on range maps provided by authoritative sources like allaboutbirds.org and ebird.org. The species name, pictures of what it looks like, information on appearance, and where and when you may see them are all included for each species in this list. First, we’ll list the two most common species, followed by the five uncommon ones.
This article will tell you when hummingbirds are likely to return to your state, and keep reading at the conclusion of the article for advice on drawing hummingbirds to your yard.
1. RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Archilochus colubris
In the eastern part of the United States, Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the most frequent hummers. The back is green, and the underparts are white. The ruby-red throat of males is black in certain lights and appears red.
They swarm into the country in droves from Central America every spring. In one non-stop flight, several of them fly over the Gulf of Mexico! With nectar feeders and flowers, Ruby-throated hummingbirds are extremely simple to attract to gardens.
Throughout the spring and summer months, Ruby-throated hummingbirds can be found across Tennessee, but they tend to leave in early fall.
2. RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Selasphorus rufus
When it comes to sharing feeders and driving other hummingbirds away, Rufous Hummingbirds are noted for being particularly “feisty.” Males have an orange breast and a neck that is orange-red on the upper half. Green females with rusty patches on their necks and a speckled neck.
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. Although they are the second most commonly observed species on the east coast after the ruby-throated hummingbird, the rufous is considered a western U.S. hummingbird.
While I wouldn’t necessarily call them frequent, they are seen at least once a year in Tennessee, and recorded sightings can be found around the state. It seems to be most prevalent in late fall and winter, however it can occur any time of year.
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 have a little strip of purple feathers at the base of their throat that is occasionally visible. Females have a plain throat and are green above and white below, like most hummingbird females. They like to perch on bare branches and may be found in a variety of environments, from deserts to mountain forests.
Although they are native to the west coast, they have been recorded in many east coast states, including Tennessee, where there have been a few sightings over the years. They’d still be uncommon in the state, but you may get lucky if you’re willing to risk it. November through February are the most common sightings.
4. CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Selasphorus calliope
The calliope hummingbird breeds in the Pacific Northwest and portions of western Canada during the winter and then spends most of its time in Central America. The calliope is the smallest bird in the United States, so that’s an impressively long migration!
The throat of males is split into magenta stripes that fork down the sides, which is a distinct pattern. Plain females have a peachy tint under the breasts and a few green markings on the neck.
On the east coast, Calliope Hummingbirds are uncommon, however they’ve been seen a few times in Tennessee. The majority of the sightings took place in the winter months.
5. 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 difference between them because their colors are similar to those of Rufous hummingbirds. Males of Allen have a green back and orangey-red throat. The back and flanks of females are brownish-orange, with a speckled throat. When compared to other hummingbirds, they migrate at a young age and arrive in California in January.
Allen’s are a uncommon species in Tennessee, having only been observed a few times. The majority of reports seem to occur between November and December, mainly along the state’s eastern border.
6. ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Calypte anna
The truth is, Anna isn’t really going to the US. Although they are found across most of their range, you will only find them in a few western states, such as California. Their feathers are strewn with emerald feathers, and their green hue is considerably brighter and more iridescent than that of most other birds. The fleshy-pink skin of males is visible on their neck and over their foreheads.
Anna’s are a little uncommon on the east coast, but they do happen every now and again. Only a handful of occurrences have been documented in Tennessee’s center throughout the years.
7. BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Selasphorus platycerus
Hummingbirds with broad tails thrive in the highlands, where they produce at heights of up to 10,500 feet. The neck of males is red-magenta in color. Females have a buffy-colored belly and cheeks with green speckles on their neck and cheek.
In the eastern United States, broad-tailed hummingbirds are uncommon. To the north of the Gulf, you’ll find Tennessee has only ever documented a few, and the east has currently virtually no record of them.
ATTRACTING HUMMINGBIRDS TO YOUR YARD
1. HANG HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS
Hanging a nectar feeder in your yard may be the most effective way to attract hummingbirds. Hummingbirds must constantly feed because they have such a short lifespan. Pick a feeder with a red color on it that is simple to disassemble and clean. Cleansing and refilling should be done more than once a week in hot weather. For the majority of people, we recommend a saucer-shaped feeder. They’re very simple to keep clean, operate properly, and don’t store a large quantity of nectar.
2. MAKE YOUR OWN NECTAR
Make your own nectar to eliminate (and in some cases, kill) harmful (and occasionally lethal) additives. It’s a low-cost, simple, and fast process. Simply add 1 cup sugar to 4 cups water in a 1:4 proportion (1 cup sugar for every 4 cups water). Making your own nectar without boiling the water is simple, as we teach in our easy-to-follow how-to article.
3. PLANT NATIVE FLOWERS
Plant some flowers in your yard that will attract passing hummingbirds, in addition to a feeder. They’re particularly fond of red (as well as orange, pink, and purple) blossoms, as well as blossoms with trumpet or tubular forms. Vertical gardening might help you utilize the limited area. Long cascading vines of flowers may be displayed on an obelisk trellis or a flat trellis attached to the side of your home. Hummingbirds love these 20 plants and flowers!
4. PROVIDE WATER
hummingbirds need drinking and bathing in order to survive. They will utilize traditional bird baths, albeit they may find them to be too deep. You may get a hummingbird bath, or you can make one that is perfect for your yard with these great ideas.
5. PROMOTE INSECTS
Sugar alone isn’t sufficient for most hummingbirds, so they must eat protein as well. Little insects account for up to a third of their diet. Mosquitoes, fruit flies, spiders, and gnats are included in this category. By avoiding pesticides, you can help your hummers. See our 5 easy tips for more advice on insect feeders and ways to encourage hummingbirds to eat.