Last Updated on April 26, 2023 by Lily Aldrin
Hello fellow bird enthusiasts!
As someone who has always been captivated by the beauty and grace of hummingbirds, I am thrilled to share with you my latest findings on these tiny yet remarkable creatures in the state of Kansas.
In this article, we will explore the mesmerizing world of hummingbirds and discover the 8 types of these jewel-toned birds that call Kansas their home.
So grab your binoculars and let’s embark on an adventure to uncover the dazzling diversity of hummingbird species that grace the skies of the Sunflower State!
Types of Hummingbirds in Kansas
1. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
The eastern portion of the United States, especially Kansas, is home to the largest population of hummingbirds in the world: the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
Their upper bodies are green, while their bellies are white.
In men, the ruby red of their throats may almost seem black.
They arrive in the thousands every spring, having spent the winter in Central America.
Quite a few of them do nonstop flights across the Gulf of Mexico! With nectar feeders and flowers, you may easily coax ruby-throated hummingbirds into your garden.
Arrivals of wintering ruby-throated hummingbirds in Kansas may be expected to begin in late March.
They’ll be here during the warmer months of summer and spring, but they’ll be departed by late October.
Midway inside the state of Kansas may be found the westernmost extent of the range of the ruby.
As a result, they may be found in greater numbers in the state’s eastern part but only in isolated pockets in the west.
2. Black-chinned Hummingbird
Every year, black-chinned hummingbirds fly from Central America and Mexico to the western United States to reproduce.
While the male’s neck appears black in typical lighting conditions, a narrow band of purple plumage runs down the bottom.
Females, like other female hummingbirds, are green on top and white on the bottom, with a white throat.
They may be found in a variety of environments, from deserts to alpine woodlands, and they’re known to sit on bare twigs.
While they’re more common on the west coast, western Kansas lies on the boundary of their range, so you could see one of these birds there on occasion.
Try to find them in the warmer months of the year.
3. Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous hummers have a reputation for being aggressive when it comes to feeding at feeders and avoiding competition from other hummingbirds.
The males are completely orange in color, with a white spot on the top breast and a bright red neck.
The females of this species are a vibrant green having rusty side bands and a spotted neck.
They enter the United States from Canada in the spring via California, spend the summertime in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, and then return to the south through the Rockies in the autumn.
Despite its reputation as a western hummingbird, the rufous is actually the second most often seen species in the United States, behind only the ruby-throated.
Sightings have been reported throughout the state of Kansas, with the peak months being August and October.
Not that I’d say they’re frequent, but I imagine at least a few are seen a year.
4. Calliope Hummingbird
The calliope hummingbird spends the winter months in Central America and the rest of the year reproducing in the Pacific Northwest and western Canada.
The calliope is the tiniest bird native to the United States; therefore, its migratory distance is even more remarkable.
Magenta stripes that branch downward at the sides provide a distinctive pattern on the throats of males.
Females have a peach-colored underside and are mostly brown above.
While sightings of Calliope Hummingbirds have been very uncommon across Kansas, they have been reported from the state on a few occasions.
They are mostly seen in the state’s western regions between July and October.
5. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Broad-tailed hummingbirds may be seen breeding at altitudes of up to 10,400 feet in the Himalayas.
It may be rather chilly at these altitudes, particularly at night.
When its energy reserves are low, the broad-billed hummingbird goes into a condition termed torpor.
This mimics hibernation in that it lowers metabolic rate, making it easier for them to survive the nighttime lows in temperature.
The states of Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming make up part of their summer breeding range.
Guys are distinguished by a rosy magenta neck.
Females are buff in coloration on the back and possess green spots on the neck and face.
Despite the rarity of broad-tailed hummingbirds in the state of Kansas, a few have been observed sometimes, usually in the summer months.
Although broad-tailed foxes are commonly seen in Colorado, it’s reasonable to assume that you could have a possibility of seeing one in Kansas if you keep your eyes peeled.
6. Anna’s Hummingbird
Annas spend the winter in their range, which includes most of the United States, although they are only reliably seen in a few western states, including California, Oregon, and Washington.
Their green feathers are often brighter and more glossy than those of other birds, and they even have emerald plumage dotting their breast and abdomen.
The male has a bright pink neck and a crest of multicolored plumage that rises to his forehead.
Anna’s aren’t often seen in the East or Midwest, but they do pop up sometimes.
About six have been seen in Kansas throughout the years, with most sightings occurring between September and January (as shown by eBird).
In conclusion, the uncommon Anna may be seen in the autumn and winter if one keeps their eyes alert.
7. Broad-billed Hummingbird
Arizona and New Mexico are the sole two states in the United States where the broad-billed species is reported to nest.
With a purple-blue neck and a blue-green underbelly, males are easy to identify.
A black tip may be seen at the end of their orange beak.
Females have distinctive bluish-green upper parts and grey underparts, and black beaks.
While sightings of broad-billed hummingbirds outside of the southern United States are very unusual, they do occur on occasion.
Very few sightings have been reported in Kansas, and those that have happened have been during the off-season when the birds are not nesting.
Whereas it’s quite unusual to encounter a homeless person in the state, it is possible.
8. Costa Hummingbird
A man from a Costa has a vivid purple face, which is a distinguishing feature of the species.
They possess a purple mustache—feathers that flare out from their neck and forehead in a symmetrical fashion—and a purple forehead splash.
Females have a green upper body and a white underside.
While similar in size to other hummingbirds, the Costa is smaller overall, with shorter tails and wings.
You may see them in Baja and southern California all through the year.
While Costa’s hummingbirds are very seldom seen in locations outside of the southwestern United States, it is not unheard of for them to make the journey all the way to Kansas.
The state has just two confirmed sightings, making a visit from a Costa’s a very remote possibility.
Both events happened in October, so keep a sharp watch out throughout the rest of the autumn and into the beginning of winter.
In conclusion, Kansas may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of hummingbirds, but this state is home to a surprising variety of these small, iridescent birds.
From the flashy Ruby-throated Hummingbird to the elusive Rufous Hummingbird, Kansas offers a diverse array of hummingbird species that are sure to captivate birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike.
As we’ve explored in this article, each type of hummingbird has its unique characteristics, ranging from their vibrant colors, distinct behaviors, and preferred habitats.
Observing these remarkable birds in their natural habitat is not only a thrilling experience but also a testament to the incredible biodiversity that exists even in unexpected places like Kansas.
Whether you’re a seasoned birdwatcher or a novice nature lover, taking the time to appreciate the beauty and wonder of hummingbirds can be a truly enriching experience.
So, next time you’re out exploring the Kansas wilderness, keep an eye out for these tiny jewels of the sky, and remember to cherish the precious moments as you witness the fascinating world of hummingbirds in the Sunflower State!
Are all hummingbird species in Kansas native to the state?
No, not all hummingbird species found in Kansas are native to the state. Some species, such as the Rufous Hummingbird, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, and Anna’s Hummingbird, are migratory and may visit Kansas during their annual migrations from other parts of North and Central America.
When is the best time to spot hummingbirds in Kansas?
The best time to spot hummingbirds in Kansas is typical during the warmer months of spring and summer, from April to September. This is when hummingbirds are most active and present in the state, foraging for nectar and insects to fuel their high metabolism.
What types of flowers can I plant to attract hummingbirds in Kansas?
Hummingbirds are attracted to bright-colored flowers with tubular shapes that are rich in nectar. Some examples of flowers that can attract hummingbirds in Kansas include trumpet vine, bee balm, salvia, penstemon, and columbine. It’s important to choose native plant species that are adapted to the Kansas climate and can provide a sustainable food source for hummingbirds.
How can I create a hummingbird-friendly habitat in my backyard in Kansas?
To create a hummingbird-friendly habitat in your backyard in Kansas, you can start by planting native flowers that are attractive to hummingbirds, providing a water source such as a birdbath or fountain, and avoiding the use of pesticides and herbicides. You can also hang hummingbird feeders with a sugar-water solution, but it’s important to clean them regularly to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
How can I identify different types of hummingbirds in Kansas?
Identifying different types of hummingbirds in Kansas can be challenging as they are small and often have similar appearances. However, key features to look for include size, coloration, markings, and behavior. Field guides, online resources, and apps can be helpful tools for identifying hummingbird species accurately.
Why are hummingbirds important to the ecosystem in Kansas?
Hummingbirds play a vital role in pollination, transferring pollen from flower to flower as they feed on nectar. This helps in the reproduction of many flowering plants, including some native species in Kansas. Hummingbirds are also important indicators of the health of the ecosystem, as their presence and abundance can reflect the overall biodiversity and ecological balance of an area.
Are there any conservation efforts in place for hummingbirds in Kansas?
Yes, there are various conservation efforts in place for hummingbirds in Kansas, including habitat preservation, education and outreach programs, and citizen science initiatives to monitor hummingbird populations. Organizations like the Kansas Ornithological Society and local Audubon chapters also work to promote the conservation and appreciation of hummingbirds and their natural habitats in Kansas.