6 Beautiful hummingbirds in Delaware [Pictures + IDs]

Delaware may be small in size, but it’s home to a diverse range of bird species, including several types of hummingbirds. These tiny, colorful birds are a favorite of birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts, and in this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of hummingbirds found in Delaware, their habitats, behaviors, and conservation status.

From the stunning and iridescent Ruby-throated Hummingbird to the rare and elusive Rufous Hummingbird, we’ll explore the fascinating world of these tiny creatures and their roles in Delaware’s ecosystems. We’ll also provide tips on how to spot and identify hummingbirds in the wild, as well as resources for further reading and exploration.

Whether you’re an experienced birdwatcher, a nature lover, or simply curious about the wildlife in your area, we invite you to join us on a journey to discover the amazing hummingbirds of Delaware

6 Types of Hummingbirds in Delaware

  1. Black-Chinned Hummingbird
  2. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
  3. Allen’s Hummingbird
  4. Calliope Hummingbird
  5. Broad-Tailed Hummingbird
  6. Rufous Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbirds

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  • Scientific name: Calypte anna
  • Lifespan: Up to 10 years in the wild
  • Weight: 3.5 to 6 grams
  • Size: 9 to 11 cm (3.5 to 4.3 inches) in length, with a wingspan of 12 to 13 cm (4.7 to 5.1 inches)
  • Origin: Found on the western coast of North America, from southern Alaska to Baja California

Little Anna’s Hummingbirds are mostly green and grey in color. The female’s neck is grey with spots of red whereas the male’s head and throat are iridescent reddish-pink.

Anna’s Hummingbird is the most common non-migratory hummingbird along the Pacific Coast. The males do a stunning dive performance during mating, climbing as high as 130 feet in the air before plummeting back to the earth while making a loud noise with their tail feathers.

While they may also be found in scrub and savannah, Anna’s hummingbirds prefer the backyards and parks with, vibrant flowers and nectar feeders.

The nests of Anna’s hummingbirds are located high in trees, between 6 and 20 feet above, and they often have two to three broods each year.

Rufous Hummingbird

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  • Scientific name: Selasphorus rufus
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years in the wild
  • Weight: 2.7 to 4.3 grams
  • Size: 7 to 9 cm (2.8 to 3.5 inches) in length, with a wingspan of 11 cm (4.3 inches)
  • Origin: Found in western North America, from Alaska to Mexico

Rufous Hummingbirds are bright orange on the back and belly, have a white patch below the neck, and have an iridescent red throat. The females have a pale belly and a back that is greenish-brown and rusty in color.

As compared to their size, rufous hummingbirds have one of the longest migration routes, covering up to 4000 kilometers on each trip. They move south to Mexico and the Gulf Coast to spend the winter after breeding in northwest Alaska.

In the spring, they go north along the Pacific Coast, and in the late summer and autumn, they pass past the Rocky Mountains.

The main sources of food for rufous hummingbirds are nectar from vibrant tubular flowers and insects including gnats, midges, and flies. They use soft plant down and spider webs to keep their nest together as they make it high up in the trees. They lay two or three very little, white eggs that are 0.5 in (1.3 cm) long.

They are quite hostile and will attack any other hummingbirds that appear, even bigger ones or those who are resident during migration. They won’t stay around for very long during migration and will often chase off other hummingbirds if they have the opportunity. They inhabit mountain meadows and, during the winter, woodlands, and woods.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

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  • Scientific name: Archilochus colubris
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years in the wild
  • Weight: 2.5 to 4 grams
  • Size: 7 to 9 cm (2.8 to 3.5 inches) in length, with a wingspan of 8 to 11 cm (3.1 to 4.3 inches)
  • Origin: Found throughout eastern North America, from southern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as in some parts of Central America during migration.

The male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have an iridescent red throat, and both sexes have bright green throats and back with gray-white undersides. Female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have white undersides, greenbacks, and brownish crowns and sides.

The only hummingbird species that breeds in eastern North America is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, which subsequently migrates farther south to Central America. Some travel across Texas along the coast or over the Gulf of Mexico. For breeding, they begin to arrive in the deep south in February and may not reach the northern states and Canada until May. They go south In September and August.

These little birds fly from one nectar source to another, catching insects in the air or on the webs of spiders. They will sometimes rest on a tiny branch, but because of their short legs, they can only shuffle along a perch and can’t walk.

The best locations to look for them outside in the summer are flowering gardens or forest margins. They are very widespread in urban areas, particularly around nectar feeders.

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are aggressive in the protection of feeders and flowers. After mating, they do not stay around for very long and may migrate by early august.

Ruby-throated females make their nests on thin branches out of thistle or dandelion down that are bound together by spider silk. They lay 1-3 eggs that are only 0.6 inches in diameter (1.3 cm)

Black-chinned Hummingbird

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  • Scientific name: Archilochus alexandri
  • Lifespan: Up to 10 years in the wild
  • Weight: 3 to 3.5 grams
  • Size: 8.5 to 10.5 cm (3.3 to 4.1 inches) in length, with a wingspan of 11 to 13 cm (4.3 to 5.1 inches)
  • Origin: Found in western North America, from the western United States to northern Mexico.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds have grayish-white undersides and dull metallic green backs. The females have a light neck and white tail feather tips, while the males have a black throat with a thin, iridescent purple base.

Black-chinned hummingbirds mostly breed inland in western states, and during the winter they travel to western Mexico and the Gulf Coast.

They eat nectar, tiny insects, and spiders. While consuming nectar, their tongues can lick 13–17 times per second.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds lay 2 white, tiny eggs that are barely 0.6 inches long in their nests, which are made of plant down and spider silk to keep them together (1.3 cm)

Black-chinned Hummingbirds often return to a favorite perch and are frequently seen perched at the tops of dead trees on small, bare limbs. They may be found among shaded oaks on the Gulf Coast or by canyons and rivers in the Southwest.

Broad-billed Hummingbird

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  • Scientific name: Cynanthus latirostris
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years in the wild
  • Weight: 3 to 4 grams
  • Size: 9 to 10 cm (3.5 to 3.9 inches) in length, with a wingspan of 12 cm (4.7 inches)
  • Origin: Found in southwestern United States and Mexico

Broad-billed hummingbird has bright colors even among the hummingbirds. The males have a deep metallic green color throughout, and their blue throats reach down to their breasts. Females have light bellies and both males and females have red beaks that are black-tipped and broad toward their heads.

Broad-billed can be found in central Mexico and along the Pacific coast of Mexico throughout the year. Some birds spend the whole year close to the Mexican border, while others travel north to breed in mountain valleys in southern Arizona and New Mexico.

Broad-billed Hummingbirds prefer to forage in canyon streams and alpine meadows, although they will also visit garden feeders. They build their nests around streams at a relatively low height of about 3 feet.

Calliope Hummingbird

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  • Scientific name: Selasphorus calliope
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years in the wild
  • Weight: 2 to 2.5 grams
  • Size: 7 to 8 cm (2.8 to 3.1 inches) in length, with a wingspan of 11 cm (4.3 inches)
  • Origin: Found in western North America, from southern Canada to Mexico

The Calliope Hummingbird, the tiniest bird in America with the size of a ping pong ball, travels more than 5000 miles annually from Mexico to Canada and back. Moreover, they fight valiantly to protect their territory and even pursue Red-tailed Hawks.

Male Calliope Hummingbirds have shiny green backs and sides, brilliant magenta throats (known as the gorget), and black tails. The underside of females is more pinkish-white than white, unlike that of males, who have iridescent throats.

They migrate in spring from the Pacific Coast to breeding grounds in California, Colorado, and up to northern states and Canada, They migrate pretty early and arrive between the middle of April and the beginning of May.

Their nests are often found on evergreen trees and may be reused or built over an older nest.

Allen’s Hummingbird

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  • Scientific name: Selasphorus sasin
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years in the wild
  • Weight: 2.5 to 3.5 grams
  • Size: 7 to 9 cm (2.8 to 3.5 inches) in length, with a wingspan of 11 cm (4.3 inches)
  • Origin: Found in western North America, from Alaska to Mexico

It may be difficult to distinguish Allen’s Hummingbirds from Rufous Hummingbirds in the little area of coastal woodland and scrub between California and Oregon that they inhabit.

Male Allen’s Hummingbirds have orange bellies, tails, and eye patches along with iridescent reddish-orange throats. The females lack the brilliant throat color, but both sexes have long, straight bills and coppery-green backs.

The Allen’s Hummingbird’s small outer tail feathers are what set it apart from Rufous Hummingbirds. They may have up to three broods a year and build nests at no particular height along shaded streams.

Allen’s Hummingbirds move up to the Pacific Coast in California and Oregon as early as January and spend the winter in Mexico. Some continue to live in Los Angeles and central Mexico.

Conclusion

Delaware is a great place for bird enthusiasts to observe hummingbirds during the breeding season from April to September. The state provides an ideal habitat for several species of hummingbirds, including the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, the Rufous Hummingbird, and the Black-chinned Hummingbird.

To attract hummingbirds to your yard in Delaware, it is essential to provide them with a reliable food source, such as a hummingbird feeder filled with a sugar water solution. Planting native flowers, such as bee balm, columbine, and cardinal flower, can also help to attract these tiny birds to your yard.

Observing hummingbirds in Delaware is a wonderful experience that allows us to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of these amazing creatures. So, if you are in Delaware during the breeding season, take some time to watch these tiny birds in action. It’s a truly remarkable experience that you won’t want to miss!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: When do hummingbirds arrive in Delaware?

A: Hummingbirds typically arrive in Delaware in early spring, around April or May, and can be seen throughout the summer months. However, the exact arrival date can vary depending on migration routes and weather patterns.

Q: What species of hummingbirds can be found in Delaware?

A: The most common species of hummingbird found in Delaware is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. However, other species such as the Rufous Hummingbird and Black-chinned Hummingbird have been spotted in the state as well.

Q: How can I attract hummingbirds to my yard?

A: Hummingbirds are attracted to brightly colored flowers, especially those with tubular shapes that allow them to easily feed on nectar. You can also hang hummingbird feeders filled with a mixture of water and sugar (4 parts water to 1 part sugar) to supplement their nectar intake.

Q: What is the best time of day to see hummingbirds?

A: Hummingbirds are most active during the early morning and late afternoon hours, when temperatures are cooler and nectar sources are abundant. However, they can be seen throughout the day as they search for food.

Q: Do hummingbirds migrate through Delaware?

A: Yes, many species of hummingbirds migrate through Delaware on their way to and from their breeding grounds. Some birds travel thousands of miles from their wintering grounds in Central and South America to reach their summer breeding grounds in North America.

Q: How can I help protect hummingbirds?

A: You can help protect hummingbirds by providing a habitat with plenty of nectar-rich flowers, avoiding the use of pesticides and herbicides in your yard, and keeping your hummingbird feeders clean and free of mold. You can also support conservation efforts by donating to organizations that protect hummingbirds and their habitats.

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