Hummingbirds Texas: Everything You Need To Know

Hummingbirds may be an animal that brings to mind images of lush gardens filled with flowers or rainforests brimming with exotic life. But did you know that hummingbirds can also be found in Texas?

Known for their vibrant colors and magnificent hovering skills, these tiny birds remain one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet and are considered a popular species among bird enthusiasts. 

Many hummingbirds are migratory and will spend the winter season in Mexico or South America, which means they often have to travel through states such as Texas to reach their destinations.

Because of this, hummingbirds can be found across the state and have become a popular addition to the native wildlife. So if you want to learn more about Texas hummingbirds, then you have come to the right place. 

In the following guide, we are going to showcase each species of hummingbird known to inhabit the lone star state.

We will also explain the characteristics of each species and how you can learn to attract them to your garden. So if you are ready to observe some of the most beautiful birds in the world, this article has everything you need to get started… 

Overview 

If you are in a rush and don’t have the time to read the entire article, then we have summarized some key information about Texas hummingbirds in the sections below. Here you will find everything you need to know about these beautiful birds and where you can find them in the lone star state: 

Where Can You See Texas Hummingbirds? 

If you live in Texas and want to observe some hummingbirds in their natural habitat, then there are several locations that are known to yield the best results.

Currently, the best locations in Texas to see hummingbirds include Big Bend National Park or the Davis Mountains, as the species is known to prefer rocky and mountainous regions. However, it is also possible to see some rare hummingbirds to the south of the Texas border. 

How Are Species Of Hummingbird Classified? 

When it comes to the classification of hummingbirds, the different varieties are usually separated into one of three categories: resident, seasonal and rare. So if you want to know what category each Texas hummingbird belongs to, then you can find the necessary information in the sections down below:

Resident Species

Unfortunately, there are no species of hummingbirds that are classified as Texas residents. However, ruby-throated hummingbirds, black-chinned hummingbirds, buff-bellied hummingbirds and rufous hummingbirds have all been identified as species that remain in the state throughout the year. 

Seasonal Species 

Seasonal hummingbirds include notable species such as: ruby-throated hummingbirds, black-chinned hummingbirds, buff-bellied hummingbirds, rufous hummingbirds, broad-tailed hummingbirds, anna’s hummingbirds, lucifer hummingbirds, calliope hummingbirds, rivoli’s hummingbirds and blue-throated mountain gems. 

Rare Species 

Rare or accidental hummingbirds include notable species such as: allen’s hummingbirds, broad-billed hummingbirds, mexican violetear, violet-crowned hummingbirds, white-eared hummingbirds, costa’s hummingbirds and green-breasted mango. 

Common Texas Hummingbirds 

Here is a list of the most common hummingbirds found in the state of Texas: 

  1. Green-Breasted Mango 
  2. Costa’s Hummingbird 
  3. White-Eared Hummingbird 
  4. Violet-Crowned Hummingbird 
  5. Mexican Violetear 
  6. Broad-Billed Hummingbird 
  7. Blue-Throated Mountain-Gem 
  8. Rivoli’s Hummingbird 
  9. Allen’s Hummingbird 
  10. Calliope Hummingbird 
  11. Lucifer Hummingbird 
  12. Anna’s Hummingbird 
  13. Broad-Tailed Hummingbird 
  14. Rufous Hummingbird 
  15. Buff-Bellied Hummingbird 
  16. Black-Chinned Hummingbird 
  17. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird 

If you want to know more about each of these species, then we have outlined each hummingbird and its characteristics in the following guide. 

Texas Hummingbirds: Ultimate Guide 

Green-Breasted Mango

  • Classification: rare 
  • Length: 4.3 – 4.7 in (11 – 12 cm)
  • Weight: 0.24 – 0.25 oz (6.8 – 7.2 g) 

The green-breasted mango is considered to be one of the rarest hummingbirds in the state of Texas, although some have been seen along the southeastern border of Mexico. 

As a species, green-breasted mangoes can be identified by their iridescent feathers, which usually come in shades of blue and green. However, this does not mean that all green-breasted mangoes look the same, as there are certain characteristics that distinguish both genders of the species. 

For example, male green-breasted mangoes will usually boast a black throat and a hint of blue on their chest. While female green-breasted mangoes are known to have white breasts with black stripes. 

This particular species of hummingbird can be found near the coasts of Mexico and Central America, where it is known to inhabit tropical rainforests, luscious gardens and open wooded areas. 

Costa’s Hummingbird

  • Classification: rare 
  • Length: 3.5 in (7.6 – 8.8 cm)
  • Weight: 0.1 oz (2 – 3 g)

Another rare species, costa’s hummingbirds can commonly be found in southern Texas, where they have been known to frequent Big Bend National Park. However, it is also possible to observe this species along the southwestern borders of Mexico. 

This species of hummingbird is primarily found in the desert, where it can be identified by its striking purple throat and crown.

When observing these hummingbirds, you will notice that their backs are green and their bellies are white, with both genders also displaying hints of green on the chest and sides. However, female members of the species can be harder to identify because they do not sport the iconic purple embellishments. 

Costa’s hummingbirds can be found in Baja California, as well as southern California and southwestern Arizona. During the winter, the species will commonly migrate to the pacific coast of Mexico, while states such as Nevada and Utah are populated during the breeding season. 

Because these hummingbirds are known to frequent the desert, they tend to draw their nectar from scrub and chaparral. The species will also build its nest on shrubs and will commonly parent two broods each year. 

White-Eared Hummingbird

  • Classification: rare 
  • Length: 3.5 – 4 in (9 – 10 cm)
  • Weight: 0.1 – 0.14 oz (3 – 4 g)

Although the white-eared hummingbird is classified as a rare species, it has been found in Texas during the summer season, with the bird making its home in Big Bend National Park and the Guadalupe Mountains. 

Named after their iconic markings, white-eared hummingbirds are known for their black heads and white eye stripes, which appear on both males and females.

Beyond this, the species is also known to sport a red beak with a black point, while their feathers sport various shades of green and blue. However, males of the species will often boast more vibrant plumage, with their green bodies also featuring hints of turquoise and violet. 

As a species, white-eared hummingbirds come from Nicaragua and can be found among the mountains of southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico and western Texas. The species will commonly nest during the spring and summer seasons, with the hummingbird producing 3 broods a year. 

These hummingbirds are also known to make their homes undergrowth and forests, where they will commonly build their nests in shrubs and low trees. 

Violet-Crowned Hummingbird

  • Classification: rare
  • Length: 4 in (10 cm) 
  • Weight: 0.18 oz (5 g) 

Violet-crowned hummingbirds can sometimes be found in El Paso, although sightings of the species are considered extremely rare. 

Known for its titular violet cap, this species of hummingbird is medium-sized and can often be found sporting olive-green feathers on the back and white plumage on the chest and throat. The species can also be identified by its pink beak, with males also boasting bluish-green feathers on their tails. 

As a species, these hummingbirds can be found in the mountains of southeastern Arizona, as well as southwestern New Mexico and along the Mexican coast.

Violet-crowned hummingbirds will usually migrate to the United States during the early spring, where they will continue to nest until the summer season. While most hummingbirds will migrate south during the winter, it is not uncommon to find this species in your garden during the colder months. 

The violet-crowned hummingbird will usually make its home in lush tropical forests or dry scrubland, with the species being known to build its nest in sycamore trees and shrubs. 

Mexican Violetear

  • Classification: rare 
  • Length: 3.8 – 4.7 in (9.7 – 12 cm) 
  • Weight: 0.17 – 0.2 oz (4.8 – 5.6 g) 

Mexican violetears are a species of medium-sized hummingbirds that can be identified by their metallic green plumage and violet markings, which can commonly be found on the sides of their heads and chests. 

This particular species is known to breed in the forests of Mexico, although it can also be found throughout Central America and Nicaragua. However, the species has also been observed as far south as Bolivia and Venezuela. 

During the mating season, unpartnered Mexican violetears will fly north into the United States, where they will make their new home in central and southern Texas. 

Broad-Billed Hummingbird

  • Classification: rare
  • Length: 3.1 – 3.9 in (8 – 10 cm) 
  • Weight: 0.1 oz (3 – 4 g) 

Broad-billed hummingbirds are considered extremely rare in Texas, even though it is possible to find the species around the southern border and along the southern Gulf Coast. 

Distinguished by their vibrant colors, broad-billed hummingbirds are considered flamboyant even among other hummingbirds, with males often sporting iridescent green feathers and blue markings that extend from the throat to the chest. While females are more muted in their plumage, both genders sport red beaks that widen from their faces. 

This species of hummingbird is considered a permanent resident of central Mexico and the pacific coast, where they have been known to reside year-round. However, some birds will choose to migrate north during the mating season, where they will make their new homes in the canyons of southern Arizona and New Mexico. 

In terms of habitat, this species is most comfortable near canyon streams and rocky meadows, which provide the perfect environment for nesting and foraging. Broad-billed hummingbirds will usually build their nests low to the ground, although it is not uncommon to see this species nipping at your backyard feeders. 

Blue-Throated Mountain-Gem

  • Classification: seasonal 
  • Length: 4.3 – 4.7 in (11 – 12 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3 oz (8.1 – 8.6 g) 

The blue-throated mountain-gem is a seasonal species of hummingbird that can be found in the Chisos Mountains during the spring and summer. 

As the name would suggest, the male of the species can often be identified by its metallic blue throat, with both genders also displaying bronze feathers with hints of brown and green.

Considered the largest species of hummingbird to migrate to the United States, the blue-throated mountain-gem can also be distinguished by the white tips at the end of its tail feathers. 

Found commonly in Mexico, this species of hummingbird is known to migrate north over short distances, with the mountain-gem setting up residence in southeastern Arizona and southwestern Texas.

They prefer to nest among mountainous woodland or along streams with blooming flowers. However, they have also been known to inhabit backyards, especially ones with their own feeders. 

Because the species is so large, they make stronger nests than other hummingbirds, which they use to accommodate their size. In most cases, a mountain-gem’s nest will measure 2 inches wide and 3 – 10 inches tall. 

Rivoli’s Hummingbird

  • Classification: seasonal 
  • Length: 4.3 – 5.5 in (11 – 14 cm) 
  • Weight: 0.3 oz (7 – 8 g)

Rivoli’s hummingbirds are considered to be extremely rare in Texas, although the seasonal species has been observed in Big Bend National Park and the Davis Mountains. 

Known for their large size, rivoli’s hummingbirds can be easily identified by their beautiful plumage, which remains one of the most striking among hummingbird species.

Born with iridescent purple crowns, the male of the species will often display metallic feathers of emerald green. While females will sport green feathers on their back and muted tones on their chests and throats. 

This species of hummingbird is a resident of Mexico and Central America, although some birds have been known to migrate to northern territories such as southern Arizona and southwestern Texas. 

Rivoli’s hummingbirds will commonly make their nests in high oak trees or mountainous regions abundant in plant life. However, they have also been known to visit feeders in gardens and backyards. 

Allen’s Hummingbird

  • Classification: seasonal 
  • Length: 3.5 in (9 cm)
  • Weight: 0.1 oz (2 – 4 g)

Allen’s hummingbirds are a seasonal species that commonly migrate to Texas between the months of January and February. 

In terms of appearance, allen’s hummingbirds look very similar to rufous hummingbirds, which can make it difficult to tell the two species apart, especially when you consider that both birds are known to inhabit the same patch of coastal forest between California and Oregon. 

Male allen’s hummingbirds will commonly be born with iridescent orange throats, as well as reddish chests, bellies and tails. Both males and females are known to share the same long beaks, as well as the same copper-green plumage. However, females will often lack the same vibrant colors as their male counterparts. 

Although allen’s hummingbirds share similar characteristics with rufous hummingbirds, the former can be distinguished from the latter by its tail feathers, which are considerably narrower than the other species.

These hummingbirds are also known to build their nests at various heights, although they will usually be situated near a body of water. 

Capable of producing 3 broods a year, allen’s hummingbirds will remain in Mexico before migrating to the pacific coast of California and Oregon in early January. However, some birds have been known to reside in central Mexico and the city of Los Angeles. 

Calliope Hummingbird

  • Classification: seasonal 
  • Length: 3.1 – 3.5 in (8 – 9 cm) 
  • Width: 0.1 oz (2.3 – 3.4 g) 

Calliope hummingbirds can be found in Texas throughout the year, although they are most common during the fall migration between July and September. 

These tiny hummingbirds are no bigger than a ping pong ball and are considered to be the smallest bird in the United States. However, the calliope hummingbird’s small size does not stop it from flying over 5000 miles during migration, when the species will journey from Mexico to as far north as Canada.

The species is also extremely brave and territorial, with the tiny bird even attacking hawks should they enter its territory. 

In terms of appearance, male calliope hummingbirds can be identified by their magenta throats or gorgets, as well as their emerald-green backs and black tails. Although females commonly lack the magenta markings of their male counterparts, they still display pinkish-white patches on their throats and chests. 

During the spring migration, calliope hummingbirds will access the Rocky Mountains via the pacific coast, where they will find breeding areas in states such as California and Colorado. However, the species has been known to travel as far as Canada between the months of April and May. 

Calliope hummingbirds are known to build their nests in tall evergreen trees, and will sometimes reuse their old nests for future broods. During the winter, the species will often migrate to warmer climates, such as those found in Mexico and Texas. 

Lucifer Hummingbird

  • Classification: seasonal 
  • Length: 3.9 in (10 cm)
  • Weight: 0.1 oz (3 – 4 g)

Lucifer hummingbirds can be commonly found in Texas, where they have been known to breed in Big Bend National Park and the Davis Mountains. 

While both males and females share the same curved beaks, forked tails and green plumage, it is common for males to also sport an iridescent purple throat, otherwise known as a gorget. 

As a species, lucifer hummingbirds are known to thrive in desert conditions, with the species making its home in dry canyons, where it will feed on the nectar of agaves, ocotillo and century plants.

Because of this, it is rare that you will see a lucifer hummingbird outside of the desert, making them a sought after species for bird watchers and enthusiasts alike.

During the mating season, male lucifer hummingbirds will attract the attention of a female by flying into the air and diving from heights of 100 feet, which is a common practice among the species. 

Lucifer hummingbirds make their breeding grounds in northern Mexico, as well as secluded areas in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. They will usually mate between the months of March and September, before migrating to central Mexico for the winter season.

Due to their desert-loving nature, these birds will usually build their nests in cacti or desert succulents and will produce around 2 broods every year. 

Anna’s Hummingbird

  • Classification: seasonal 
  • Length: 3.9 in (10 cm)
  • Weight: 0.1 – 0.2 oz (3 – 6 g) 

Anna’s hummingbirds are known for their small size and can be found in texas during the winter season. 

Born with mostly grey and green feathers, the male of the species can be identified by its crown and throat, which takes on an iridescent red hue. Although females are usually more muted in their appearance, they will also exhibit some red spotting. 

Unlike other hummingbirds, anna’s hummingbirds are known to migrate and are considered the most common species along the Pacific Coast. During the mating season, males will attract females by performing dives from 130 feet, before falling to the ground and creating a loud noise. 

This species of hummingbird can usually be found in gardens and backyards, where they enjoy blooming flowers and nectar feeders. However, they have also been known to favor scrub and undergrowth. 

Anna’s hummingbirds will make their nests in tall trees and are known to produce 2-3 broods a year. 

Broad-Tailed Hummingbird

  • Classification: seasonal 
  • Length: 3.1 – 3.5 in (8 – 9 cm) 
  • Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz (2.8 – 4.5 g) 

During the breeding season, broad-tailed hummingbirds can be found throughout Texas, with the species travelling from the west to the north during migration. 

As a species, broad-tailed hummingbirds are known to live in higher elevations and can be identified by their green backs and brown wings. Although both genders exhibit the same white chests, males can be distinguished by their metallic pink gorgets, while females will commonly display green spots on their cheeks. 

This species of hummingbird usually breeds in open woodlands and high meadows, with an elevation between 5,000 – 10,000 feet. However, during the winter, they will seek out the warmer climates such as those found in Mexico. 

Due to the cold conditions that this species experiences in its natural habitat, the broad-tailed hummingbird is able to slow down its heart rate to control its body temperature. 

Broad-tailed hummingbirds have been known to draw nectar from a variety of different blooms, although they will also supplement their diet with small insects. The species will also build its nests in tall evergreen trees, where they use spider webs and gossamer to create natural insulation. 

Rufous Hummingbird

  • Classification: seasonal 
  • Length: 2.8 – 3.5 in (7 – 9 cm) 
  • Weight: 0.1 – 0.2 oz (2 – 5 g)

Rufous hummingbirds can commonly be found in Texas during the fall migration, although the species can also be found along the Gulf Coast during the winter and spring. In most cases, rufous hummingbirds can be seen between July and April, before they retire to Canada and Alaska during the summer. 

Like allen’s hummingbirds, rufous hummingbirds are known for their bright orange feathers, with males often exhibiting metallic red throats. Females of the species can be identified by their rust-coloured backs and white bellies. 

As a species, rufous hummingbirds are considered to be the lost migrating birds of their size, with the species covering over 4000 miles each year. They commonly breed in northwest Alaska and will migrate to Mexico during the winter. 

Thanks to their long beaks, rufous hummingbirds will usually feed on tubular flowers and a variety of small insects. The species also builds its nest in tall trees and utilizes spider webs to hold the structure together. 

Rufous hummingbirds can be surprisingly aggressive and territorial, with the species being known to attack other hummingbirds during migration. The species can usually be found in mountainous meadows, while during the winter they migrate to forests and woods. 

Buff-Bellied Hummingbird

  • Classification: seasonal 
  • Length: 3.9 – 4.3 in (10 – 11 cm) 
  • Weight: 0.1 – 0.18 oz (2 – 5 g)

Buff-bellied hummingbirds can be identified by their vibrant beaks, with both males and females displaying the same red hue. However, in most cases, females will exhibit darker beaks than their male counterparts. 

This species of hummingbird can be found in Texas during the breeding season, as well as the Yucatan Peninsula and Central America. However, during the winter, buff-bellied hummingbirds will usually migrate to warmer states such as Florida and Louisiana. 

These hummingbirds can be found nesting in Texas between April and August, where they will usually build their nests in small trees and shrubs. The species commonly lay small white eggs and are expected to produce 2 broods each year. 

Rufous hummingbirds make their homes in semi-open habitats and woodland, although it is also common to see them in your back garden during the summer. As a species, buff-bellied hummingbirds tend to favor nectar feeders and tubular blooms such as turk’s cap and red salva. 

Black-Chinned Hummingbird

  • Classification: resident – seasonal
  • Length: 0.1 – 0.2 oz (2.3 – 4.9 g)
  • Weight: 4.3 in (11 cm) 

Black-chinned hummingbirds are known to breed in Texas, with some specimens remaining in the state year-round. 

As a species, black-chinned hummingbirds can be identified by their metallic green plumage and grey bellies, with males often sporting black throats with iridescent purple markings. Females of the species are usually more muted in appearance and are born with pale throats and white tips on their tails. 

This species breeds primarily in western states and will migrate to western Mexico and the Gulf Coast during the winter season. They mainly eat small insects and can lick 13-17 times per second when drinking nectar. 

Black-chinned hummingbirds will usually make their nests from spider silk and plant down, with the species laying 2 tiny white eggs with each brood. 

These hummingbirds have been known to inhabit canyons and rivers in the southwest, where they can often be found sitting on dead trees and bare branches. 

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

  • Classification: resident – seasonal 
  • Length: 2.8 – 3.5 in (7 – 9 cm)
  • Weight: 0.1 – 0.2 oz (2 – 6 g) 

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are considered the most common species in Texas, with the bird travelling to the state during the spring migration.

In most cases, the species will arrive in Texas between February and March, with males arriving first and then being followed by the females. During the winter season, ruby-throated hummingbirds will gather on the Gulf Coast, before finally migrating to the south. 

As a species, ruby-throated hummingbirds can be identified by their bright green backs and white undersides, with males often displaying the signature red throat. While females share the same green plumage as their male counterparts, they are also distinguished by their brown and grey crowns. 

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the only species known to breed in eastern North America, before they eventually migrate to southern territories such as Central America.

However, some birds have also been known to migrate to the Gulf of Mexico, where they will also settle around the Texas coast. The species arrives in the south during February and will not journey to the north until the breeding season in May. Ruby-throated hummingbirds will migrate south during August and September. 

These tiny birds will live on a diet of nectar and small insects, which they will sometimes steal from spider webs. However, because their legs are so short, they are unable to walk and will rarely perch due to their inability to move. 

During the summer, it is common to encounter these birds in your garden, especially if your backyard has a nectar feeder or an abundance of flowers. Males of the species can be extremely aggressive and will usually migrate after the mating season is over. 

Females build their nests on thin branches, making the structures from materials such as thistles and dandelions. They will typically lay 1-3 eggs in each brood, with each egg measuring 0.6-inches in length. 

How To Attract Hummingbirds 

If you wish to observe some of these fascinating creatures, then here are some tips to attract hummingbirds to your garden: 

  • If you already have one hummingbird feeder in your garden, then you will need to add more if you want to transform your backyard into a sought after destination for various hummingbird species.
  • Make sure to maintain the quality of your feeders by regularly cleaning and changing the nectar, which you can purchase or make from home. However, it is best to avoid nectar with harmful dyes and chemicals. 
  • Another great way to attract hummingbirds is by adding a birdbath or water feature to your garden, although you need to make sure that the water doesn’t get stagnant. 
  • Growing native plants can be a great way to attract hummingbirds, as they will seek out tasty blooms such as salvias, foxgloves, fuschias, bee balms and lupin. 
  • When attracting hummingbirds to your garden, it is best to refrain from using any harmful pesticides or herbicides, as these could endanger the various species. 
  • Always supply perches and trees where the hummingbirds can rest during the day. 

How To Identify Hummingbirds 

If you see a hummingbird and want to know what species it belongs to, you can use the following characteristics to determine its variety: 

  • Size: size is considered the easiest way to determine a hummingbird’s species, as birds are often measured in inches or centimetres in books and on websites. So if you see a hummingbird in your garden, always make sure to note the size and you may be able to locate the species. 
  • Shape: the shape is another characteristic that is pivotal when it comes to identifying hummingbirds, as different species have different beaks, tail feathers and wings. So always make sure to note any unique features when examining the bird’s silhouette. 
  • Color: As we have previously mentioned, each species of hummingbird has its own unique color and patterns, which can be used to discern the variety. So it is recommended that you take note of any markings or hues that the bird should display. 
  • Behaviour: different species of hummingbird will display different behaviours, with some staying close to the ground and others flying in large groups. These are important things to consider when it comes to identifying the different species. 
  • Habitat: If you see a hummingbird out in the wild, you need to take note of the surrounding environment, as certain species are known to inhabit certain habitats and areas.