Hummingbirds are amazing creatures. They are the smallest birds in the world, yet they can fly at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.
They can also hover in place for long periods of time, thanks to their powerful wings. They are the only birds that can fly backward, and they can beat their wings up to 80 times per second. Hummingbirds are found throughout North and South America.
However, there is one other aspect of Hummingbirds that makes them truly unique: their diet. Unlike other birds, which primarily eat insects, hummingbirds feed almost exclusively on nectar. They rely heavily on nectar, they have evolved long beaks and tongues that allow them to reach deep into flowers to extract the sweet liquid.
They consume large quantities of nectar, meaning that they must visit hundreds of flowers each day to get the energy they need to survive. For these reasons, hummingbirds play an important role in pollination, and they are a vital part of many ecosystems.
They are also able to hover in mid-air, making them seem like tiny helicopters because of their high-pitched “buzzing” sound.
In addition to their aerial prowess, hummingbirds are also known for their bright and colorful plumage. Every year, thousands of people put out hummingbird feeders in hopes of attracting these little birds to their backyards.
Whether you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a hummingbird in flight or simply enjoy watching them from a distance, there is no delaying that these creatures are truly magical.
11 Hummingbirds Species in Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, and Florida Gulf of Mexico to the south. The state is known for its scenic beauty, especially its mountains and coastline.
It is the home to a diverse array of plant and animal life too. Alabama is the 30th largest state in the United States with an area of 52,419 square miles (135,765 km2). There’s another popular name for this state is “Heart of Dixie”
In Alabama, there are a total of 464 different bird species have been recorded. This number includes both migratory and non-migratory birds, as well as those that are native to the state and those that are not. Of the 464 recorded species, around 70 are considered to be accidental visitors.
While the rest are classified as regular breeders, winter residents, and occasional visitors. The majority of Alabama’s bird species can be found in the southern part of the state where the climate is milder and there is a greater variety of habitat types.
Like, the hummingbirds – there are around 11 species found in Alabama which are seen very commonly in the backyards.
Hummingbirds belong to the Avian family Trochilidae and are native to America. These are tiny attractive birds, with most species measuring 3-5 inches in length.
In Alabama, hummingbirds can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, wetlands, and even urban areas. These energetic little birds require a lot of food to fuel their high metabolism, and they feed on nectar from flowers as well as small insects.
Even you can attract these birds by displaying hummingbird feeders or you can plant nectar-producing flowers in your backyard.
Did you know, that there are more than 340 species of hummingbirds, and they are found in every part of America? Here are a few more amazing facts about these birds.
- Despite their small size, hummingbirds are powerful flyers; they have been known to reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour in flight.
- The average lifespan of a hummingbird is 5 years.
- Hummingbirds have a very high metabolism and need to eat often. They may eat up to eight times their body weight in food each day!
- No other bird can fly like hummingbirds. They can fly backward, forward, and even upside down! This is possible because their wings can rotate a full 180 degrees.
- Hummingbirds do not suck nectar instead, they lick it with fringed, forked tongues.
- Hummingbirds cannot walk or hop like other birds.
- They can beat their wings up to 80 times per second, and breathe 150 times per minute.
- Hummingbirds come in a variety of colors, including green, blue, red, and orange. Even they are known to change color depending on the angle of the sun.
- A hummingbird egg is about the size of a jellybean and makes up about 5% of the mother’s weight, and amazing fact is that once the chicks hatch, they grow quickly and fledge(leave the nest) after only 3-4 weeks.
- Hummingbird tongues are shaped like W and they can extend out far beyond the break.
- All of these facts make hummingbirds one of the most fascinating creatures in the bird world.
So next time you see a hummingbird zipping around your garden, take a moment to appreciate these incredible creatures. From their bright plumage to their amazing flying skills, they truly are one of nature’s marvels.
Without any further delay let’s see what are those six hummingbirds that are seen most frequently in Alabama:
1# Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)
Anna’s hummingbirds are one of the most common species of hummingbirds found in North America. Male hummingbirds are easily identified with their iridescent green plumage. The back and crow are a deep, glossy green, and the throat and breast are a pale pinkish-green. The bill is black, and the leg and feet are dark greys.
The female bird is usually a little smaller than the male, with a green back and white underparts and the color of the throat is more pale pink.
The nesting season typically runs from February to August. Females build cup-shaped nests made of leaves, spider webs, lichen, and other materials.
These birds are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, deserts, and urban areas.
These birds feed primarily on nectar and use their long bills to reach deep into flower blossoms. They also eat small insects, which they capture in mid-flight.
#2 Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is a species of hummingbird that is native to North America and Canada. It is the only species of hummingbird that breeds in this region. The bird is named for the distinctive ruby-red throat patch of the male bird. While the female has a white throat with some flecks of red. Both sexes have greenish-white plumage with some dark steaks on the back and wings.
These birds are among the smallest of all birds, and they are also one of the fastest, with a top speed of up to 30 miles per hour.
The Ruby-throated hummingbird feeds on nectar from flowers and also consumes small insects for protein.
They begin their breeding season in late April or early May through October.
Once the males arrive at the breeding grounds, they establish territories by performing a spectacular aerial display. The female chooses a mate based on the quality of the male’s territory. Once paired up, the male and female work together to build a nest out of plant material, spider webs, and down feathers.
The female lays two eggs per clutch, and both parents help to incubate them. After about two weeks, the chicks hatch and fledge the nest about three weeks later.
The Ruby-throated hummingbird is a popular bird species, not only for their striking appearance but also for their interesting breeding behaviors.
#3 Broad-Billed Hummingbird (Cynanthus Latirostris)
The Broad-billed hummingbird is a beautiful bird found in the SouthWestern United States and Mexico. It is easily identified by its distinctive red bill, which is curved and slightly broader at the tip than at the base.
The Broad-billed humming is a relatively small bird, measuring only about 3 inches in length. Its body is greenish-brown above and pales below, with a white band on its tail. The female is pale greenish-brown with white steaks on her breast.
The Broad-billed hummingbird eats insects and nectars from flowers. It can hover in midair and fly backward. The bird nests in trees and bushes. The female lays two eggs in a cup-shaped nest made of plants down and spider webs.
6# Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin)
Allen’s hummingbird is a small bird found in the Western United States and Mexico. This bird is named after Charles Lane Allen, who was the first person to collect a specimen of the species. Males have greenish-black upper parts and a red gorget (throat patch), while females have greenish upper parts with white streaks. They measure up to 3-3.5 inches in length.
Allen’s hummingbirds are attracted to bright flowers, and they feed on nectar. They also eat small insects, which they catch in mid-air.
These are migratory birds, traveling south in the winter to escape the cold weather. They typically live in open woodlands, gardens, and other areas with flowers.
During the breeding season, male birds perform an elaborate courtship ritual in which they dive rapidly from a great height, making a loud noise as they go and they breed from March to August.
7# Calliope hummingbird
The calliope hummingbird is the smallest bird and can be seen commonly in Alabama. It has a reddish-orange body color with a green back and tail. The male has a white throat with a stripe of purple on either side.
The female usually lacks the throat stripes but may have a greenish tint on her throat. The diet of the calliope hummingbird consists mainly of nectar from flowers. They will also eat small insects, such as spiders and ants.
The calliope hummingbird breeds in open areas with scattered trees, such as meadows, parks, and gardens. The female lays two eggs in a cup-shaped nest made of plant down and spider webs. incubation takes about 17 days, and the young birds fledge about 23 days after hatching.
Some interesting facts about the calliope hummingbird include that it is the only North American hummingbird that breeds in Canada, and it is one of the longest-lived hummingbirds, with a lifespan of up to 9 years. It is also one of the fastest flyers, reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour!
8# Broad-Tailed Hummingbird
The Broad-Tailed Hummingbird got its name from the distinct breadth of its tail feathers. These tail feathers create a much broader silhouette compared to other hummingbirds, making it easier to recognize in the air. The body of a Broad-Tailed Hummingbird is mostly colored green with a purple hue along its throat. Red stripes can be found on the sides of their bodies while wings and back feature a pale gray hue with darker green edging. Their heads are an olive color that blends into their backs perfectly. plumage and broad tail.
Broad-Tailed Hummingbirds have an impressive repertoire of behaviors including a specialized courtship ritual. During the months of mating season, males will perform numerous dive displays in order to entice female mates.
9# Buff-Bellied Hummingbird
The Buff-Bellied Hummingbird is aptly named for its unique body coloration. This bird is actually a species of bee hummingbird, the smallest and lightest bird in the world, and has a distinctive chest area with pale buff or cream coloring. The head of this distinctly beautiful bird is deep green and yellow, while the wings have a silvery-gray tone.
The Buff-Bellied Hummingbird is unique both in its appearance and behavior. During the breeding season, it will “snap” its bill open, producing an audible click loud enough for people to hear. It furthermore performs an impressive courtship display with tails spread and feathers fluffed out, flying high above treetops in a vibrating hum. Its unique flight pattern also stands out from other hummingbirds as they can dart around quickly while also remaining at one spot during feeding.
10# Mexican violetear
The Mexican violetear hummingbird is native to Central America and has captured the name for its distinct body color. Smaller than most species, this bird is usually green with a mix of white, gray and blue-violet feathers down its back. The crown or head generally displays a bright violet hue with gray streaks that extend from the forehead to the neck. It’s for these exquisite colors that the Mexican Violetear sells it’s name The scientific name for it is Colibri thalassinus and is believed to have derived from a combination of ancient Greek words colibri meaning dove, and Thalassinus of Tunis referencing its chestnut brown rump. Its vibrant hues also inspired various colloquial names such as Green-breasted Mountain Gem and little flying jewels.
And that’s the end of our list of 10 hummingbirds in Alabama! We hope you enjoyed learning about these amazing creatures. Remember, if you want to attract hummingbirds to your backyard, plant some flowers and put out a feeder filled with sugar water. These birds are sure to bring some sweetness into your life!