Last Updated on March 22, 2023 by Lily Aldrin
In the heart of the East Coast, where towering skyscrapers and bustling city streets are the norms, lies a hidden world of vibrant colors and aerial acrobatics.
Among the trees and flowers of New Jersey, eight different species of hummingbirds can be found, each with its own unique personality and charm.
From the dazzling Ruby-throated Hummingbird to the diminutive Calliope Hummingbird, these feathered wonders are a delight to behold.
So come along on a journey to discover the diverse and fascinating world of hummingbirds in New Jersey, and prepare to be amazed by the beauty and wonder of these tiny creatures.
Types of Hummingbirds in New Jersey (NJ)
There are a total of eight different species of hummingbirds that can be found in New Jersey.
1. Rufous Hummingbird
Although Rufous Hummingbirds are not as prevalent across New Jersey, their migratory pattern is quite identical to that of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.
Also, they fly into Newark, New Jersey, in late April or early May and leave around the end of October.
It’s common for males to go first, with females and pups following approximately 15 days later.
The feisty and sometimes aggressive demeanor of the Rufous Hummingbird has earned it a bad reputation.
They may be little, but their territoriality isn’t shared with anybody.
It is good knowing that these birds will drive away rival hummingbirds, bigger birds, and even rats from their nectar sources.
The male Rufous Hummingbird is readily identified by its bright orange neck.
Females have white, speckled skin at the base of their necks.
Additionally, their backs are green, and the ends of their tail plumage are white.
In order to get Rufous Hummingbirds into your yard, you should plant native flowers that produce nectar or install nectar feeders.
However, their violent, territorial disposition might lead to problems.
In the summer, Rufous Hummingbirds like alpine meadows, whereas in the winter, they prefer wooded areas.
To survive in the wild, these birds rely heavily on the nectar of tubular flowers.
Even smaller insects like midges, flies, and gnats are fair game for them.
Their webbed nests may be seen at the highest branches of trees.
2. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is one of just two kinds of birds found in New Jersey, and it is the only hummingbird kind known to nest there.
At the very latest, by the beginning of May, you may expect to see them.
Upon initial arrival, males begin exploring potential feeding territory.
When summer ends and the weather cools down, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds inhabiting New Jersey fly south throughout the Gulf of Mexico to spend the winter season.
As there is nothing for them to stop along the way and rest their small wings, they undertake the long trek in a single flight.
Male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds get their name from the vibrant crimson of their necks.
Forked tails and greenbacks are further identifiers for these creatures.
Females, in contrast, are easily identifiable by their three-toned white, black, and bluish-green tail feathers.
There are two strategies we suggest using to entice Ruby-throated Hummingbirds toward your garden.
First, entice ruby-throated hummingbirds by planting brightly colored flowers—they particularly like the oranges and reds seen in New Jersey’s natural flora.
If you can’t provide food directly, you may provide nectar via hanging feeders.
3. Black-chinned Hummingbird
A Black-chinned Hummingbird is an extremely unusual sight across New Jersey; once every few years in the wintertime, Cape May plays host to one.
The summer months are a prime breeding time for them throughout the western states, including Baja California (Mexico) and British Columbia (Canada).
After spending the summer across southern California, they spend the winter months across western Mexico.
Glossy black throats with a tinge of purple may be seen in male Black-chinned Hummingbirds.
A neck of lighter plumage may be seen hanging just below the darkened neck.
The male has a few greenish highlights on his back and breast.
The backs of females are similarly green, and their necks are white with light spots.
As a rule, Black-chinned Hummingbirds may be seen perching on the bare, short branches of dead trees that line rivers and canyons.
They have been seen to choose a favorite perch and regularly return there.
Black-chinned Hummingbirds eat nectar, spiders, and tiny insects.
These birds might lick their tongues an incredible Seventeen times a second while they feast on nectar.
Nests are constructed from seed cones and bound together by spider silk.
Black-chinned Hummingbird eggs are a paltry 0.7 inches in length.
4. Allen’s Hummingbird
It is unusual to see an Allen’s Hummingbird in the Garden State.
Only four encounters have been documented since the beginning of the century, and all of them occurred in or around Cape May county.
Historically, these birds have nested in the western United States, particularly in California during the summertime and in Mexico during the cold season.
A growing number of people are either remaining in the state of California throughout the year or migrating to warmer climates in the east during the winter.
Male Due to their similar appearance, Rufous Hummingbirds and Allen’s Hummingbirds are sometimes mistaken for one another.
The backs of these two species are a little different shade of green, and that’s how you can tell them apart.
The upper tail plumage of Allen’s Hummingbirds is narrower than those of other species of hummingbirds.
The tails and undersides of Allen’s Hummingbirds are similarly orange, and the birds possess long, straight beaks.
Females and males look alike because they share the same coloration on their backs and have similarly shaped bills.
However, rather than the brilliant orange of the males, their necks are a pale white.
5. Calliope Hummingbird
Only six sightings of the Calliope Hummingbird have been reported in New Jersey since 1996, making it another species that is very uncommon there.
These birds are the North American continent’s tiniest mating birds, yet they’re surprisingly hardy.
They are the tiniest long-distance travelers in the world since their migratory route from Mexico through Canada and back covers more than 5,000 kilometers.
Due to their smaller size, Calliope Hummingbirds are infamously violent when protecting their territory.
They have been observed successfully fending off considerably bigger birds like hawks.
Males are distinguished by their glossy greenbacks, vivid purple necks, black tails, and snowy white bellies.
The female is easily distinguished from the male by her pinkish-white underbelly and the more subdued coloring on her neck.
Calliope hummingbirds often build their nests on the limbs of coniferous forests like pines.
Their nests are constructed out of materials, including bark fibers, moss, and spider webs.
Primarily, flies and flower nectar make up these birds’ diets.
6. Violetear Hummingbird
Although very rare in New Jersey, Violetear Hummingbirds have been spotted throughout the state on rare occasions.
In 2005, in Rumson, there was the last confirmed sighting. In addition to their natural ranges in Nicaragua and Mexico, these birds may be seen as far south as Bolivia.
Even yet, a few of them could decide to go even farther north. It is likely that during migration, some of these brilliantly colored birds became disoriented and ended up in the United States.
The sexes of the Violetear Hummingbird seem almost similar, with the males having a little brighter overall hue.
The men are bigger than the women because of their size disparity.
These birds possess a grass-green body with a huge violet mark on the breast and a violet stripe throughout the chin that extends to purple “ears.”
7. Anna’s Hummingbird
Anna’s Hummingbirds are the only type of hummingbird in the United States that makes a distinctive buzzing sound as it flies.
Male bees make a series of scratching-sounding movements between flowers.
These birds have a well-deserved reputation for being aggressively territorial, with males often resorting to diving at some other birds and even humans in an effort to scare them away.
When they are deep in their dives, they utilize the plumage at the base of their tails to make loud, high-pitched popping sounds.
Male Both the necks and the crowns of Anna’s Hummingbirds are a brilliant shade of red.
Both their lower and upper halves display different colors.
It’s common for females to possess red and white patches on their necks.
In addition, their tails are greenish with white points, and they possess light gray chests.
Typically, Anna’s Hummingbirds choose to make their nests in bushes or on tree branches, but they have also been seen constructing nests in vines and even beneath the eaves of buildings.
The nests are constructed of plant fibers and spider webs and coated with plumage.
They cover the outside with lichens to make it less noticeable to any would-be predators.
8. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Any Broad-tailed Hummingbirds found throughout New Jersey are there by chance.
They mostly nest in the western states’ mountain areas, including Wyoming, Idaho, California, and Montana.
At altitudes of 5,000 to 10,000 feet, they have their breeding seasons of May and September in meadows and woods.
These birds have not been seen since 2012 across New Jersey.
Broad-tailed Hummingbirds may enter a torpor state in which they slow their pulse rates and reduce their body heat to survive the very cold conditions seen at high elevations.
The nectar of many flowers, particularly larkspur, and sage, makes up the bulk of these birds’ diets.
They also eat tiny insects and use those insects to raise their offspring.
The nests of broad-tailed hummingbirds are woven from gossamer and spider webs.
In order to protect their young from the freezing alpine nights, they build their nests beneath the drooping limbs of coniferous or aspen trees.
Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, both sexes, have white chests, iridescent greenish backs and abdomens, and tan or brown wings.
Males are distinguished by their bright pink necks, while females and juveniles are distinguished by the green spots that cover their faces and necks.
During September and late August, these birds begin their annual winter migration toward southern Mexico.
In conclusion, the eight species of hummingbirds found in New Jersey are a testament to the state’s natural beauty and biodiversity.
These tiny birds are not only fascinating to watch with their aerial displays and distinctive behaviors, but they also play an important role in pollinating plants and maintaining ecological balance.
By providing a habitat that is rich in nectar-producing flowers and offering sugar water feeders, we can help ensure the survival of these wonderful creatures.
So the next time you’re out in nature, keep an eye out for these amazing hummingbirds and take a moment to appreciate the magic of their presence in our world.
When is the best time to see hummingbirds in New Jersey?
Hummingbirds can be seen in New Jersey from early spring through late fall, but the best time to see them is typically from May to August when they are most active.
What is the diet of hummingbirds in New Jersey?
Hummingbirds feed on nectar from flowers, as well as insects and spiders for protein. In captivity, they can also be fed a mixture of sugar water and vitamins.
How can I attract hummingbirds to my garden in New Jersey?
To attract hummingbirds to your garden, plant nectar-producing flowers such as bee balm, cardinal flower, and salvia. You can also offer sugar water feeders and keep them filled with fresh nectar.
Are hummingbirds in New Jersey endangered?
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only species of hummingbird in New Jersey that is considered threatened, but its population has been increasing in recent years. The other species are not considered endangered or threatened.
Can I keep a hummingbird as a pet in New Jersey?
It is illegal to keep a hummingbird as a pet in New Jersey, as they are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It is also not recommended as hummingbirds require a specialized diet and environment to thrive.