10 Beautiful hummingbirds in Kansas [Pictures + IDs]

Kansas is home to a wide variety of bird species, including several types of hummingbirds. These small, brightly-colored birds are known for their remarkable flying abilities and are a favorite of birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of hummingbirds found in Kansas, their habitats, behaviors, and conservation status.

From the common and colorful Ruby-throated Hummingbird to the rare and elusive Rufous Hummingbird, we’ll explore the fascinating world of these tiny creatures and their roles in Kansas’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 Kansas

10 Types of Hummingbirds in Kansas

  1. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
  2. Costa’s Hummingbird
  3. Black-Chinned Hummingbird
  4. Calliope Hummingbird
  5. Rufous Hummingbird
  6. Broad-Tailed Hummingbird
  7. Rivoli’s Hummingbird
  8. Anna’s Hummingbird
  9. Broad-Billed Hummingbird
  10. Mexican Violetear

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.

Buff-bellied hummingbird

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  • Scientific name: Amazilia yucatanensis
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years in the wild
  • Weight: 5 to 6 grams
  • Size: 10 to 11 cm (3.9 to 4.3 inches) in length, with a wingspan of 14 cm (5.5 inches)
  • Origin: Found in the Gulf Coast region of the United States and eastern Mexico

The medium-sized Buff-bellied hummingbird has a red bill with a black tip, although the females have a darker beak.

Southern Texas, the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, and all the way up into Central America are breeding grounds for buff-bellied hummingbirds. The Buff-bellied Hummingbird makes brief winter migrations from the Gulf Coast to Louisiana and Florida.

They nest in Texas between April to august among low-lying big bushes or small trees. They may lay up to 2 eggs.

The optimal habitat for buff-bellied hummingbirds is semi-open areas or forest borders, however, they may also visit yards with flowers or nectar feeders. Their meals also include some small insects.

By the use of nectar feeders and red tubular flowers like Turk’s cap and red salvia, you can attract more Buff-bellied hummingbirds.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mexican Violetear

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  • 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

Kansas 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 Kansas, 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, Kansas provides an excellent opportunity to observe these tiny, yet mighty, creatures in their natural habitat. So, next time you’re out exploring nature in Kansas, 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 Kansas?

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

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

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 Kansas?

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

Q: Do hummingbirds migrate from Kansas?

A: Yes, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that breed in Kansas 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 Kansas?

A: While the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is not considered endangered in Kansas, 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.

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