11 Types of Hummingbirds in Colorado

Last Updated on November 19, 2022 by Lily Aldrin

Colorado is renowned for its magnificent scenery, diverse animals, and enjoyable outdoor activities.

Spend some additional time and look for some of the 514 bird varieties to maintain an eye out for, notably 12 stunning species of hummingbird that add to Colorado’s allure, whether you’re out trekking, canoeing, or simply relaxing in nature.

Here are the 11 Types of Hummingbirds in Colorado.

ImageName
Selasphorus RufusSelasphorus Rufus
Blue Throated Mountain Gem Humming BirdBlue Throated Mountain Gem Humming Bird
Ruby-throated HummingbirdRuby-throated Hummingbird
Black-chinned hummingbirdBlack-chinned hummingbird
Anna's HummingbirdAnna's Hummingbird
Mexican VioletearMexican Violetear
Rivoli's HummingbirdRivoli's Hummingbird
White-eared HummingbirdWhite-eared Hummingbird
Calliope HummingbirdCalliope Hummingbird
Costa's HummingbirdCosta's Hummingbird
Broad Billed HummingbirdBroad Billed Hummingbird

Types of Hummingbirds in Colorado

1. Selasphorus Rufus

Selasphorus Rufus

Selasphorus Rufus possesses a weight of about 2.5 – 4.5 grams, a length of about 2.5 inches, and 4.4 inch a long wing span.

Male Rufous Hummingbirds have quite an iridescent copper-red gorget and a white upper breast, giving them their name. 

They also have a rufous tail, head, and sides. Additionally, the heads and backs of certain males of this popular hummingbird genus can have an emerald wash.

Female Rufous hummingbirds have a green head and back, a white neck with a center orange blotch, and a tendency to be somewhat bigger than males. 

The females’ black wing tips and tail feathers have white tips and rufous bases.

Known for their aggressive and protective temperament, rufous hummingbirds perform aerial displays and a range of high-pitched, chattering, and chipping vocalizations as elements of their threat show.

Range

Among all hummingbirds in America, Rufous hummingbirds utilize the most extensive migratory routes.

During the migratory period, they travel more than 50 yards from Anchorage to Mexico and back!

These little creatures use their extending tongues to snag the delicious nectar from tubular plants.

Plants that provide nectar can be used to entice these amusing birds to your yard.

2. Blue Throated Mountain Gem Hummingbird

Blue-throated Mountain Gem
Credits – Wikipedia

Blue-throated mountain gem has a wingspan of 3.1 inches for males and 2.3 inches for females and possesses a length of about 4.5 to 4.8 inches.

One of the bigger hummingbirds is called the Blue-throated Mountain Gem, after the male’s brilliant blue gorget.

The Blue-throated Mountain Gem has dull green top plumage that fades to medium grey below, with a bluish-green belly.

Additionally, the Blue-throated Mountain Gem has a blackish-gray cheek patch that is bordered by two smaller lines that run backward from the corners of its short bill.

Range

In the highlands of Mexico, as far south as Oaxaca, and the forests of that country, Blue-throated Mountain Gems spend the winter amid the mountain wildlife.

They go to the canyons in the southwest for their breeding season.

However, vagrants occasionally wander the wide spaces and oak woods of Colorado.

The Blue-throated Mountain Gem has the slowest wing beat of all the North American hummingbird species while being a large, swift flyer.

Investing in a hanging hummingbird feeder with sucrose solution or a fountain so you may see these really busy guys up close.

Read:  When to Put Out Hummingbird Feeders? (Statewise)

3. Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated hummingbird exhibit a size of 2.8 to 3.5 inches long, weighs 3.8 grams, and possesses a wingspan of approximately 4.5 inches long. 

Appearance

The throat patch of the Ruby-throated hummingbird has a more obvious orange undertone.

A simple gorget with subtle dark streaks and unique forked tail feathers characterize the female Ruby-throated hummingbird. 

Common species of ruby-throated hummingbirds generally nest in the western United States and spend the winter in Central America.

However, during migratory seasons there may be sporadic sightings of vagrants.

Food

Nectar from fragrant, vividly colored flowers on bushes, trees, and epiphytes serve as the main food source for ruby-throated hummingbirds.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are prey for predatory animals and insect-eating birds because of their small size.

The Ruby-throated hummingbird is also threatened by huge birds like loggerhead shrikes and red-tailed hawks.

Additionally, for eating, nesting, and roosting, Ruby-throated hummingbirds are very dependent on particular forest plants.

They quickly lose their native habitat as a result of expanding agriculture and clear-cutting forests, which poses a serious danger to their existence.

4. Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned hummingbirds

The Black-chinned hummingbirds are characterized by their somewhat black chins along a white patch located above their eyes and pale plumes on their heads, backs, and sides. 

In addition, the black chin and neck of black-chinned hummingbirds are embellished with shimmering feathers establishing a purple band and a striking white leash around the base of their throats.

The Black-chinned hummingbird’s female counterpart has similar characteristics, including the recognizable black chin.

However, females might occasionally have very little green stripes on their white throats. Hummingbirds with black chins don’t sing.

Instead, they speak in fast succession and with a low, raspy voice, especially when they’re territorial and hostile.

Habitat

Black-chinned hummingbirds are frequently seen in alpine meadows and mountains. You may put out hummingbird feeding feeders containing sugar water gorges, parks, and, as frequently, garden visits or grow vivid, tubular blooms to draw these beauties.

5. Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna Hummingbird

Anna’s hummingbird exhibit a size of 3.9 to 4.3 inches long, weighing about 2.8 – 5.9 grams, and a wingspan of 4.9 inches long.

The males possess a shiny throat and feathers that may vary in their coloration based on lighting and can be either black or reddish-orange.

The male Anna’s sides, chest, and belly are entirely grey with a greenish tint. Last but not least, their feathers and rear are a dark black-brown color, and they have a light, broken eye ring.

The female Anna, on the other hand, has a greener gorget, and a greener body.

The territorial behavior of Anna’s hummingbirds, which includes spectacular diving displays to fend off rival birds, is well documented.

The most noticeable and loud hummingbirds in the country are Anna’s hummingbirds.

Habitat

Do you know that while in flight, Anna’s hummingbirds can vibrate their small bodies up to 65 times every second to dry rain?

In Colorado Springs, Anna’s hummingbirds are frequent all year long in yards and parks, where they eat floral vegetation and flying insects.

Birders should refrain from using insect traps, herbicides, or insecticides that might reduce Anna’s hummingbirds’ access to insects due to their carnivorous diets.

Read:  What Time of Day Do Hummingbirds Feed?

6. Mexican Violetear

Mexican Violetear
Credits – Wikipedia

Mexican violetear exhibit a size of about 3.8 to 4.7 inches long, with a weight of about 4.8 to 5.6 grams.

Mexican violetears feature vivid violet cheeks and a breast in addition to emerald green and bluish-green tails. A frequent medium-sized hummingbird from Mexico to Nicaragua’s wooded regions is the Mexican violetear.

However, because it wanders among mountain ranges and is rather migratory, a few of these nomads can go as far as Colorado.

Mexican violetears can be heard singing from vulnerable twigs in their region, where they produce a rapid, metallic, chipping song.

The Apodiformes order, which means “without foot,” includes Mexican violetears. Mexican violetears have feet, but they are small and quite weak.

Thus many birds within that group hardly ever walk.

In deforested environments, the Mexican violetear often forages by itself, eating at mid-level canopies.

However, these aggressive birds occasionally congregate near blooming trees, particularly the coffee-shade Inga.

7. Rivoli’s Hummingbird

Rivoli's Hummingbird
Credits – Wikipedia

Rivoli hummingbird exhibit a size of about 4.3 to 5.5 inches long and weighs about almost 8 grams.

Rivoli’s Hummingbirds are distinguished by their big size, long beak, and black appearance till the sun strikes the luster of their plumage.

They have a purple head, a black breasts, and a metallic green-bronze tint on their necks and backs.

The females have far less vibrant plumage, with backs and heads that are olive green and solid grey breasts.

Habitat

They are a little behind. The hilly regions of the southwest United States and Honduras are home to Rivoli’s Hummingbirds.

Due to their eating habits, Rivoli’s Hummingbirds are often highly sociable and stay near the garden.

To draw Rivoli’s Hummingbirds to your Colorado garden, include the following plants.

8. White-eared Hummingbird

White-eared Hummingbird
Credits – Wikipedia

White Eared hummingbird possesses a length of about 3.5 to 3.9 inches and weighs about 3 to 4 grams.

White-eared hummingbirds have mostly green backs and breasts, whitetails that are bronze-green, and a blackhead that is marked by a distinguishing white eye stripe.

Hummingbirds with white ears have red beaks with black tips. The males have violet spots on their cheeks and a shiny turquoise-green gorget.

White-eared hummingbird females are typically less interesting than males.

Range

In Colorado, white-eared hummingbirds are a stray or incidental species that are extremely infrequently observed.

In general, white-eared hummingbirds inhabit hilly areas in Nicaragua, southeast Arizona, and southwest New Mexico.

Breeding locations for white-eared hummingbirds include pine-oak woodlands in southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.

White-eared hummingbirds may be attracted much like other hummingbirds, despite their rarity in Colorado.

To entice visitors, plant vivid, nectar-rich blooms or make use of a hummingbird feeder. Mexico, as well as western Texas.

9. Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope hummingbird exhibits a length of about 2.8 to 3.9 inches long and weighs about 2 – 3 grams.

In addition to having relatively small beaks and tails, Calliope hummingbirds possess glossy green top plumage and milky white bottom plumage. 

Males that reach adulthood also possess a white neck along with elongated wine-red gorget plumes demonstrating a “whiskered” impression when lifted.

It also possesses a  black tail and green flanks. The mature Calliope females, in contrast, usually have a dull, white gorget with black streaks, pinkish flanks, and dark tails with white ends.

Read:  Where to Hang Hummingbird Feeder? (4 Best Place)

The tiniest breeding birds known in the US are calliope hummingbirds.

In the high alpine regions of Colorado, calliope hummingbirds are either residents or transient migrants.

These Hummingbirds aggressively defend their habitat while breeding, but they are usually quite well on their way to Mexico just before young hatch.

Calliope hummingbirds are nomadic birds that typically arrive at their nesting sites sooner than most other life forms to reap the benefits of the delayed blossoms in western North America.

10. Costa’s Hummingbird

Costa's Hummingbird

Costa’s hummingbird exhibits a size of about 3 to 3.5 inches and possesses an average weight of 3.8 grams.

Males feature gorgets and crowns that are vivid purple, with green sides and backs.

The birds appear to have a “mustache” because of their long neck feathers that flare down their throats.

Females, on the other hand, have buffy-colored flanks, white underbellies, and greyish-green backs.

Hummingbirds that look a lot like Anna’s hummingbirds are endemic to Colorado or are seasonal migrants there.

Habitat

Costa’s hummingbirds typically live in wooded or arid settings with vegetation including desert scrub, cactus, wolfberries, and, most frequently, Joshua trees.

Hummingbirds in Costa Rica are a source of pollination for cacti and arid vegetation.

Jules Bourcier, a French hummingbird specialist, gave Costa’s hummingbirds their name. Louis Marie Pantaleon Costa de Beauregard, a close friend of Bourcier’s who enjoyed collecting hummingbirds, inspired the naming of the bird.

11. Broad Billed Hummingbird

Broad-billed Hummingbird
Credits – Wikipedia

Broad-billed hummingbird exhibits a length of about 3.1 to 3.9 inches and weighs about 3 – 5 grams.

The broad, vivid red beak of the Broad-billed hummingbird bears a black tip.

The undertail coverts of the male birds are white, and they have a blue neck and metallic dark green body. 

In contrast, females typically have a paler abdomen and white eyebrow stripes across each eye, making them less colorful overall.

In Colorado, the broad-billed hummingbird is a seasonal migrant or vagrant. Broad-billed hummingbirds, both sexes, are prone to talking a lot and making noises that are like a quick “chi-dit.”

Habitat

The lower valleys with thick vegetation, wetlands groves, and open oak forests are preferred habitats for the broad-billed hummingbird.

They like sugar-rich blooms and vigorously defend such regions with aerial flights and impressive frightening displays. 

Although they are entertaining and practical, hummingbird feeders lack the nutritional value of flowers, which also easily brighten up your environment.

Conclusion

Twelve distinct hummingbird species have been observed in Colorado thus far.

Unfortunately, most of these creatures are unintentional guests, making them uncommon to see. 

The Broad-tailed hummingbird, Rufous hummingbird, Calliope Black-chinned hummingbird, and Calliope hummingbird are the four most frequent hummingbirds in Colorado.

The wildlife in Colorado is abundant; if you’re curious about a few spectacular bird species that are native to the state, check our piece on “Birds in Colorado

FAQ

What do Colorado hummingbirds eat?

These hummingbirds usually feed on nectar from flowers and hunt small insects.

How long do hummingbirds stay in Colorado?

From April till August.

Where do hummingbirds sleep at night?

These birds usually find a twig that is sheltered from the wind to sleep at night.

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.