5 Beautiful hummingbirds in Iowa [Pictures + IDs]

Spread the love

Iowa is home to a diverse range of bird species, including several types of hummingbirds. These tiny birds are known for their remarkable flying abilities and stunningly colorful feathers, making them a favorite of birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different types of hummingbirds found in Iowa, their habitats, behaviors, and conservation status.

From the common and colorful Ruby-throated Hummingbird to the rare and elusive Rufous Hummingbird, we’ll take a closer look at these fascinating birds and their roles in Iowa’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 incredible hummingbirds of Iowa.

5 Types of Hummingbirds in Iowa

  1. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
  2. Rufous Hummingbird
  3. Broad-Billed Hummingbird
  4. Mexican Violetear
  5. Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbirds

Image Source

  • 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.

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Image Source

  • 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 the 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.

Rufous Hummingbird

Image Source

  • 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

Image Source

  • 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)

Mexican Violetear

Image Source

  • Scientific name: Colibri thalassinus
  • Lifespan: Up to 8 years in the wild
  • Weight: 6 to 7 grams
  • Size: 9 to 10 cm (3.5 to 3.9 inches) in length, with a wingspan of 12 to 14 cm (4.7 to 5.5 inches)
  • Origin: Found in montane forests of Mexico and Central America.

Mexico Violetears are medium-sized hummingbirds that have violet spots on the sides of their heads and breasts and are metallic green overall.

Mexican Violetears may be found as far south as the highlands of Bolivia and Venezuela. They breed in forests in Mexico, Central America, and Nicaragua. In particular in Central and Southern Texas, non-breeding Mexican Violetears have been seen to travel northward into the United States.

Conclusion

Iowa is a great place to observe hummingbirds. These small, vibrant birds are a joy to watch, with their unique behavior and bright colors adding to their charm. To attract hummingbirds to your yard in Iowa, consider planting native flowers, using a hummingbird feeder, and avoiding the use of pesticides. By creating a welcoming environment, you can witness the beauty and wonder of these amazing birds up close. Whether you’re an experienced birdwatcher or just starting to explore the world of hummingbirds, Iowa provides an excellent opportunity to observe these tiny, yet mighty, creatures in their natural habitat. So, next time you’re out exploring nature in Iowa, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these fascinating and beautiful hummingbirds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: When is the best time to see hummingbirds in Iowa?

A: The best time to see hummingbirds in Iowa is spring and summer, typically from late April to early October.

Q: What is the preferred habitat for hummingbirds in Iowa?

A: Hummingbirds prefer habitats that have a lot of nectar-producing plants, such as gardens, meadows, and forests.

Q: How can I attract hummingbirds to my backyard in Iowa?

A: You can attract hummingbirds to your backyard in Iowa by planting nectar-producing flowers and shrubs, hanging hummingbird feeders, and providing a water source.

Q: Do hummingbirds migrate from Iowa?

A: Yes, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that breed in Iowa will migrate to Central and South America during the winter months, while other species may migrate to other parts of the southwestern United States.

Q: Are hummingbirds endangered in Iowa?

A: While the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is not considered endangered in Iowa, habitat loss and other threats can impact their populations over time. Other species, such as the Rufous Hummingbird, are considered threatened or endangered in some parts of their range.

I'm Nauman Afridi, the bird enthusiast behind Birdsology.com. My lifelong passion for birds has led me to create a space where fellow bird lovers can find valuable insights and tips on caring for our feathered friends.Professionally, I'm a brand strategist and digital marketing consultant, bringing a unique perspective to the world of bird care. Whether you're a novice or an experienced bird owner, Birdsology.com is designed to be a welcoming community for all.Feel free to explore, and reach out if you have any questions or just want to chat about birds.
Posts created 948

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top

birdsology.com is for sale. Contact creativecentralpk@gmail.com

X