hummingbirds in new jersey

Hummingbirds in New Jersey: 7 Fascinating Species To See

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New Jersey is the 5th smallest state by area, located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions. Separated into four geographical regions, you can find pine forests, salt marshes, low hills, narrow valleys, highlands, and mountainous areas.

Forests cover 45% of the land area in the Garden State, and many animals lurk in these forests, including many different species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds.

There are 485 species of birds found in New Jersey. They regularly visit the state as permanent residents, winter or summer visitors, or migrants. Among them are seven types of hummingbirds on record in New Jersey. Of those seven, two are native breeders, and the other five are rare or accidental visitors.

Hummingbirds You Can Find In New Jersey

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds

  • Scientific Name: Archilochus colubris
  • Length: 2.8 – 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.071 – 0.212 ounces
  • Wingspan: 3.1 – 4.3 inches

The adult male Ruby-throated hummingbird’s primary identifier is his iridescent ruby-colored throat patch. His back is metallic green, and his belly is whitish. He has a gray chin and green sides.

The adult female Ruby-throated hummingbird is larger than the male, and she also has a metallic green back and brownish sides. Her throat and chest are whitish, and she has a rounded tail with tipped outer tail feathers.

This common hummingbird species is a native breeder in New Jersey during the humid summer months. Arriving in April and early May, these birds will typically return to their wintering grounds around the end of September or the beginning of October.

This beautiful bird has the most extensive breeding ground of any hummingbird in North America. It is the only hummingbird to have nesting grounds in the eastern United States.

This popular hummingbird can beat its wings up to 53 times per second. It prefers to feed on orange or red tubular flowers, and it has an excellent color vision. It can see into the ultraviolet spectrum; something humans cannot do.

Rufous Hummingbirds

Rufous Hummingbirds

  • Scientific Name: Selasphorus Rufus
  • Length: 3.1 inches
  • Weight: 0.071 – 0.176 ounces
  • Wingspan: 4.3 inches

The adult male Rufous hummingbird has a white face, rufous flanks, face, and tail, and his most distinguishing feature is his iridescent red-orange throat patch. Some rare males will have some green coloration on their crown and back.

The adult female Rufous hummingbird is larger than her male counterpart, with a white patch in the middle of her throat and green, iridescent orange feathers. She also has white tips on her dark tail with a rufous base.

The Rufous hummingbird is a typical visitor to New Jersey, arriving at the beginning of May, with most of them having left by the beginning of October.

This species of hummingbird is one of North America’s most widespread hummingbirds, observed in almost every state. There is even an isolated report of a hummingbird sighting in eastern Siberia.

The Rufous hummingbird follows a clockwise migratory circuit of western North America. These hummingbirds are known for their excellent location memory, traveling as far as 3,900 miles one way from Alaska to Mexico.

Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird

  • Scientific Name: Selasphorus calliope
  • Length: 2.8 – 3.9 inches
  • Weight: 0.071 – 0.106 ounces
  • Wingspan: 4.3 inches

Adult male and female Calliope hummingbirds have glossy green backs and crowns with white bellies. The adult males have elongated iridescent purple throat feathers that produce a whiskered effect when erected. He also has a dark tail and green flanks.

The adult female Calliope hummingbird has dark streaks on its pale throat, a pinkish wash on its flanks, and a white-tipped, dark tail. Its abdomen and chest are cinnamon-buff colored.

The Calliope hummingbird is an occasional visitor to New Jersey, with only six reported sightings.

This intriguing bird is the smallest of its kind found in Canada and the United States, weighing roughly as much as a ping pong ball. It is also the world’s smallest long-distant migrant, traveling around 5,000 miles in a big oval migration pattern each year.

The Calliope Hummingbird might be very small, but that doesn’t deter it from being extremely territorial, chasing away much larger birds during its breeding season. The male claims and defends his nesting territory in the branches of an evergreen tree, where he will breed multiple times with various females.

Allen’s Hummingbirds

Allen’s Hummingbirds

  • Scientific Name: Selasphorus sasin
  • Length: 3 – 3.5 inches
  • Weight:  0.1 ounce
  • Wingspan:  4.3 inches

Adult male Allen’s hummingbirds are stocky and compact with orange-coppery bellies and iridescent reddish-orange throat patches. They have green-bronze backs and foreheads, with coppery tails, sides, and rumps.

The adult females have similar coloration, although they do not have the iridescent throat patch; instead, their throats are speckled. The females are mostly green in color with rufous colored tails with white tips.

Allen’s hummingbird is a rare visitor to New Jersey, with only a handful of sightings on record in the state.

These hummingbirds are often misidentified as Rufous hummingbirds. However, one distinguishing factor is that Allen’s hummingbird has a green back in contrast to the coppery back of the Rufous hummingbird. Another identifier is that Allen’s hummingbird lacks the notched second rectrix present in the Rufous hummingbird.

The male Allen’s hummingbird is a highly territorial and aggressive bird that will defend his territory using intimidation displays and aerial flights. The males and females are not social, defending separate feeding territories.

Green Violetear 

Green Violetear 

  • Scientific Name: Colibri thalassinus
  • Length: 4.25 – 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.17 – 0.20 ounces
  • Wingspan: 4.72 inches

Adult male and female Green Violetears have shinny greenbacks, with ear patches of a glittering violet color. Their chests and throats are glittering green, with shining green bellies. Their tails are metallic green-blue, with bronzy central feathers and a distinct black sub-terminal band.

Overall the female hummingbirds are smaller than the males, and they have a duller coloration than their male counterparts. Their violet bands are also thinner than the males.

The Green Violetear is a rare visitor to New Jersey, with only one recorded sighting in Rumson, New Jersey, in August 2005.

These hummingbirds are residents of Central America and Mexico. Although records show some seasonal movements, there have even been rare sightings as far north as Canada.

The Green Violetear hummingbird prefers to feed on brightly colored, scented flowers, especially those with high sugar content. You can sometimes spot these little hummers hanging onto a native nectar-filled flower while they feed.

Adult males will defend their territories and chase away other males and large insects such as hawk moths and bumblebees.

Broad-Tailed Hummingbird

Broad-Tailed Hummingbird

  • Scientific Name: Selasphorus platycercus
  • Length: 4 inches
  • Weight: 0.13 ounces
  • Wingspan: 5.25 inches

The adult male has a glossy green back, head, and sides. His main feature is his brilliantly iridescent pink throat patch, and he also has some rusty coloration on his broad tail and a white line that extends from his chin to his eye rings, to his neck.

The adult female is much duller in coloration than her male counterpart; she has a glossy-green back and a tummy that ranges from orange-brown to whitish. Her throat and chest have some iridescent bronze or green speckles, and her sides are rusty-colored.

The Broad-tailed hummingbird is a rare visitor to New Jersey, with only one or two sightings on record.

These hummingbirds prefer to breed at high elevations up to 10,500 feet, where temperatures can drop below freezing at night. They like to nest in mountain meadows, where their loud, metallic trills fill the late summer air as they fly. Broad-tailed hummingbird nests are held together with spider silk.

To make it through the cold nights, the Broad-tailed hummingbird can enter a state of torpor, slowing its heart and metabolic rates, and lowering body temperatures.

The Broad-tailed hummingbirds can produce different sounds using their wing beat. One is a “wing hum” sound produced during flight, and the second is a “wing trill” produced by the male during the courtship display.

Black-Chinned Hummingbird

Black-Chinned Hummingbird

  • Scientific Name: Archilochus alexandri
  • Length: 3.25 inches
  • Weight: 0.1 – 0.2 ounces
  • Wingspan: 4.3 inches

The adult male and female Black-chinned hummingbirds have metallic green backs and whitish bellies with green sides. They both have white spots behind their eyes and long, straight, and slender bills.

The adult males have velvet black chins and faces and black throats with glossy violet-blue bands on their lower throat areas, bordered by white collars underneath. The adult females have green faces, white chests, pale speckled throats, and white-tipped dark outer feathers.

Black-chinned hummingbirds are rare visitors to New Jersey, with only a few reported sightings in the state.

This hummingbird is one of the most well-adapted species, often found in urban areas, pristine natural areas, and recently disturbed areas. Along the edges of some southern New Mexico and southern Arizona rivers, you can spot nests every 300 feet or so among dead trees, made of soft plant fibers and spider webs.

These birds can show aggression and territoriality around breeding areas, becoming more defensive as the breeding season continues. Although, if there are many individuals in the area and many different nectar sources, they will show very little territoriality.


Even though there are seven hummingbirds on record in New Jersey, you will probably only see two of them regularly as the other five are only rare visitors to the state.

Luckily, there are many other species of birds to see in New Jersey, and this list will give you some information on the 25 most famous species of birds in the state.

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