Hummingbirds are an enchanting species, there’s no doubt about it. However, the hummingbird size is so small and they’re such quick little birds that even the most experienced birders fumble a little while trying to identify one. However, practice can make anyone perfect and with a bit of knowledge, you should be able to tackle this particular problem easily. Learn How to Identify Hummingbirds with our detailed guide.
In general, there are three particular ways you can go about identifying hummingbirds. Let us learn about the tricks of all three, so we can identify one while the hummingbird lifespan is going strong.
1 . The Behavioral Tricks
In general, hummingbirds are nectar lovers and their flight style is leveled but swift. They have plenty of specific quirks that make it easier to narrow down hummingbirds and provide a specific identity to them.
For example, the hummingbird call is an ever-present part of their personality. Hummingbirds do tend to be a vocal bunch. This is especially obvious in Anna’s Hummingbird, especially the male species, who do proper songs. Other hummingbirds have a habit of chirping at the very least.
Hummingbirds also have a sound that comes from the flapping of their wings. It’s a very buzzing sound, one that rings loudly. Some male hummingbirds only have this sound coming out of their wings if they’re in the middle of a flight meant to appeal to the female species as a sign of courtship. For hummingbirds like Allen’s and Rufous, this is a regularity for them any time they fly.
Some hummingbirds prefer perching while others hover when they’re in the middle of feeding. Birds like Rufous tend to be particularly fierce and territorial even though most hummingbirds could be called mild in nature.
2. The Appearance
If you want to identify hummingbirds, the easiest way to do so is actually take the time to study how they look and how that changes depending on which type or gender it is. The Hummingbird size is always on the short side, there’s no doubt about that. The ones in North American tend to have black bills with no signs of curving. There are a few proportions whose bills are curved or might have two tones in terms of color. The colors usually range from red to orange while the tip is always black.
Then, there are the distinct Black-chinned hummingbirds with purple on their throat. The throat of a Calliope hummingbird is likely to be pink.
You will need to be aware of these quirks and then, you will have to combine this change in appearance with territory and behavior to conclude which Hummingbird type you’re looking at.
3. Through Territory
Hummingbird species tend to have so much commonality that sometimes, your best guess at identifying them might be through the geographical location. If you learn about habitat and the territory certain species reside in, you might get more accurate identification even if their appearance and behavior confuses you.
Anna’s, Broad-tailed, and Ruby-throated Hummingbird have the striking red in their throat. However, you’re likely to find Anna’s in the south side of Arizona or somewhere along the pacific coast. Ruby-throated is usually in the east while they’re completely absent in the west. Broad-tailed Hummingbirds tend to prefer southwest America or rough, mountain regions.
We hope you are better equipped to identify hummingbirds with a little more research. It’s also important to study the migratory paths of hummingbirds because the ones that usually live in the west, may visit south during migration. If you aren’t aware of their flying pattern, you might confuse them for a resident hummingbird of the south.