New Hampshire is home to a variety of bird species, including several types of hummingbirds. In this post, we will explore the different types of hummingbirds found in New Hampshire, their habitats, behaviors, and conservation status.
From the common and colorful Ruby-throated Hummingbird to the rarer and more elusive Rufous Hummingbird, we’ll take a closer look at these fascinating birds and their roles in New Hampshire’s ecosystems. We’ll also provide tips on how to spot and identify these birds in the wild, as well as some resources for further reading and exploration.
Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher, a nature enthusiast, or simply curious about the wildlife in your area, we invite you to join us on a journey to discover the amazing world of hummingbirds in New Hampshire!
4 Types of Hummingbirds in New Hampshire
- Ruby Throated Hummingbird
- Calliope Hummingbird
- Rufous Hummingbird
- Anna’s Hummingbird
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
hummingbirds are a beautiful and unique species that can be found in New Hampshire. These small birds are known for their agility, unique behavior, and vibrant colors. If you’re interested in attracting hummingbirds to your yard in New Hampshire, consider planting native flowers, using a hummingbird feeder, and keeping your yard free of pesticides. By creating a welcoming environment, you can witness the wonder of these amazing birds up close. Whether you’re a seasoned birdwatcher or just starting to explore the world of hummingbirds, New Hampshire is an excellent place to see these tiny, yet mighty, creatures. So, next time you’re out exploring nature in New Hampshire, keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful and fascinating hummingbirds.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: When can hummingbirds be seen in New Hampshire?
A: Hummingbirds typically arrive in New Hampshire in May and can be seen through September, with peak activity in late June and early July.
Q: What should I feed hummingbirds in New Hampshire?
A: Hummingbirds can be fed a mixture of 1 part white granulated sugar to 4 parts water, which should be boiled and then cooled before filling feeders. Avoid using honey, as it can promote the growth of harmful bacteria. It’s also important to keep feeders clean to prevent the spread of disease.
Q: How can I attract hummingbirds to my yard in New Hampshire?
A: Hummingbirds are attracted to brightly colored flowers, so planting a variety of nectar-producing plants such as bee balm, cardinal flower, and trumpet vine can help attract them. Providing hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water can also help.
Q: Do I need to take down hummingbird feeders in the fall in New Hampshire?
A: It’s recommended to keep hummingbird feeders up until about two weeks after the last hummingbird sighting in the fall, to provide late migrators with a food source. After that, it’s best to take down feeders to avoid attracting other birds that may not be able to tolerate cold temperatures.