Identification Tips

Eastern United States
The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only regularly occuring hummingbird in the eastern United States. The male has a brilliant red gorget (throat) that can look black unless viewed in good light.

Like most hummingbirds, females and immatures have a whitish throat, lacking the gorget of the adult male.


Male Ruby-throated hummingbird
Photo by Bill Horn

Rufous hummingbirds stray to large parts of the southern United States during fall migration. Watch for this species at your feeder in late summer and fall.

Western United States
Most of the 20 or so species of hummingbirds found in the U.S. are found in the Western States. Watch for unusual species during spring migration or late summer and fall migration.

Most male hummingbirds have a brilliantly colored throat or gorget. These feathers produce the metallic-like colors by refracting the light, not from color pigmentation. Females and immature males have pale throats.

Visit the hummingbird section of Birdzilla for pictures of many species and more information on hummingbirds.

 


Rufous Hummingbird


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