Hummingbirds In Wyoming

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Wyoming is a large state in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States with spectacular scenery of majestic mountain ranges and pristine rivers and streams. This Western state is perfect for outdoor lovers with a long list of outdoor recreational activities like canoeing, off-roading, and mountain biking.

If you love the untamed spirit and natural beauty of Wyoming, along with its invigorating sense of adventure, allow yourself to experience the large variety of beautiful birds that encompass the beautiful Western state.

As recorded by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the state hosts 437 bird species, from larger birds such as Golden Eagles, the largest birds in Wyoming, with a wingspan that exceeds seven feet, to the tiny wild hummingbird species that barely reach a 5-inch wingspan.

Hummers are incredibly popular birds, and for good reason. Despite their small size, they have a huge amount of personality. Let’s take a look at some of the hummingbirds you can find in Wyoming. 

Rivoli’s Hummingbird (Eugenes Fulgens)

Rivoli's Hummingbird

  • Length: 4.3 to 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.24 to 0.28 ounces
  • Wingspan: 7.1 inches

Description:

You can identify Rivoli’s Hummingbirds by their large size; it is one of the two largest hummingbird species north of Mexico, only falling slightly short of the Blue-throated Mountain-gem.

Rivoli’s Hummingbirds have long, slightly curved bills, and both males and females appear dark until the sun captures their iridescent plumage that flashes in brilliant hues.

Adult males have metallic green-bronze to emerald green throats and backs with a black breast and a flashy purple crown. In comparison, the females are bronze-green dorsally with a solid gray chest and a pure white speck behind their eyes.

Additional Information:

Rivoli’s hummingbirds occur in the mountainous pine-oak areas and shady canyons from the southwestern United States to Nicaragua.

In 1829, RenĂ©-Primevère Lesson, a natural historian, and surgeon, named Rivoli’s Hummingbird in honor of the second Duke of Rivoli.

Rivoli’s hummingbirds are friendly despite their large stature, staying close to gardens with nectar-rich flowers or bird feeders.

Consider planting orange honeysuckles in your hummingbird garden to attract this mild-mannered hummingbird in the summer months.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus Colubris)

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

 

  • Length: 2.8 to 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.12 ounces for males and 0.13 ounces for females
  • Wingspan: 3.1 to 4.3 inches

Description:

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are named for the brilliant ruby-red gorget that stands out strikingly against the males’ emerald back and crown. They also have slender black bills and a reasonably short wingspan.

In comparison, female Ruby-throated hummingbirds have a plain white breast with faint, dusky streaks and distinctive forked tails banded in black, white, and green.

Additional Information:

The Ruby-throated hummingbird breeds generally in the eastern United States and is a rare visitor to Wyoming, retreating to Mexico and Central America for winter.

This medium-sized hummingbird enjoys feeding on nectar from plants and brightly colored, tubular flowers. Therefore, consider planting bright orange or red flowers in your garden, or distribute homemade nectar throughout several hummingbird feeders around your garden to attract them while preventing the males from fighting. While typically mild-mannered, they can become aggressive birds when disputes over territory or food pop up. 

Weighing as little as a penny, Ruby-throated hummingbirds migrate a 500-mile journey, including a non-stop flight across the Gulf of Mexico after leaving their summer breeding grounds.

Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte Anna)

Anna's Hummingbird

  • Length: 3.9 to 4.3 inches
  • Weight: 0.098 to 0.2 ounces
  • Wingspan: 4.7 inches

Description:

Male Anna’s hummingbirds have an iridescent emerald green back and flanks; a pale upper breast and belly with a green tint, and sparkling pinkish-red crowns and throats that appear black or reddish-orange depending on the way the light falls. Additionally, he has a broken eye ring and dusky black-brown wings and tail feathers.

In comparison, female Anna’s hummingbirds have similar pinkish throats, with less brilliant colors than the male Anna’s hummingbird.  

Additional information:

Unlike usual hummingbirds, for whom it’s relatively uncommon for female hummingbirds to have iridescent throat patches, the female Anna’s hummingbird oddly has a similar gorget to the male Anna’s.

Male Anna’s hummingbirds tend to display territorial behavior, including elaborate dives and songs with a series of sharp metallic “chip” vocalizations.

Anna’s hummingbirds get their name from Anna Massena, the 19th-century Italian duchess. 

Anna’s hummingbirds are commonly zipping around backyards and parks, feeding on flowering plants, flying insects, and their favorite nectar feeders, or simply relaxing in a bird bath.

Black-Chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus Alexandri)

Black-Chinned Hummingbird

  • Length: 3.25 inches
  • Weight: 0.098 to 0.12 ounces
  • Wingspan: 4 to 5 inches

Description:

Male Black-chinned hummingbirds are tiny, green-backed hummingbirds without many brilliant colors, except for an iridescent purple band with a contrasting white collar around their throat to decorate their distinctive black chin and throat.

The female Black-chinned hummingbirds have similar markings; however, they have faint green streaks across a white breast.

Additional Information:

Black-chinned hummingbirds are the most adaptable hummingbirds, often roaming between urban areas, pristine natural mountain foothills, and deep canyons.

Black-chinned hummingbirds produce call notes or raspy chatters, especially when territorial and aggressive toward other birds or giant insects.  

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to attract Black-chinned hummingbirds. They are a common guest among hummingbird feeders and are attracted to tubular, nectar-rich flowers.

A Black-chinned hummingbird’s eggs are tiny, about the size of a single coffee bean.

Calliope Hummingbird (Stellula calliope)

Calliope Hummingbird

  • Length: 2.8 to 3.9 inches
  • Weight: 0.07 to 0.1 ounces
  • Wingspan: 4.3 inches

Description:

Calliope hummingbirds have short black bills and tails with a glossy green upper breast and a creamy white breast beneath.

Adult Calliope males sport a pure white throat with long iridescent wine-red gorget feathers that showcase a “whiskered” effect when erected. The males also have green flanks and a dark tail.

In comparison, the adult Calliope females sport dull white gorgets with dark specks or streaks, a pinkish wash on their sides, and dark tails with white tips.

Additional Information:

Calliope hummingbirds are the tiniest breeding bird species in the United States, weighing as little as a penny! Additionally, these teeny birds are the smallest-bodied long-distance migrants worldwide. 

The male Calliopes vigorously defend their nesting territory while breeding in conifer forests. But, as fairly migratory hummingbirds, they tend to be well on their way to Mexico before the younglings hatch.

The Calliope hummingbird species name is derived from a Greek word meaning “beautiful voice.” Quite ironically, the Calliope hummingbirds have limited vocal ability.

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus Rufus)

Rufous Hummingbird

  • Length: 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.07 to 0.17 ounces
  • Wingspan: 4.3 inches

Description:

The most distinguishable feature of male Rufous hummingbirds is their rufous crown, flanks, and tail, along with iridescent copper-red gorgets. Additionally, some males have a greenish wash on their heads and backs.

Female Rufous hummingbirds are slightly larger than males. They have green crowns and backs with white, somewhat speckled gorgets sporting a central orange splotch. Lastly, females showcase a dark tail with white tips and a rufous base.

Additional Information:

Known for their highly defensive and relentless attackers, Rufous hummingbirds display a variety of high-pitched, chipping vocalizations as part of their threat display. Their aggressive natures make them rather unwelcome around backyard feeders.

Rufous hummingbirds breed farther north and have the longest migration routes than any other hummingbird in the United States, traveling over 2,000 miles from Alaska to Mexico and back.

The longest lifespan of a Rufous hummingbird recorded was eight years and 11 months.

Broad-Tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus Platycercus)

Broad-Tailed Hummingbird

  • Length: 4 inches
  • Weight: 0.13 ounces
  • Wingspan: 5.25 inches

Description:

Broad-tailed hummingbird males sport gorgeous iridescent, rosy-red gorget with contrasting white chest feathers and metallic green-gray flanks.

In comparison, Broad-tailed hummingbird females lack the flashy gorget. Instead, they display pale white chests, similar green-gray flanks, and buff, rufous coloring on their tail feathers.

Additional Information:

Broad-tailed hummingbirds are native breeders that breed from Wyoming down to Mexico. They arrive in mid-April to breed in high-elevation mountains, meadows, and pine-oak forests.

Broad-tailed hummingbirds enjoy feeding on nectar from brightly colored flowers with high sugar content. Additionally, Broad-tailed hummingbirds aggressively protect these areas that contain plants rich in nectar.

Broad-tailed hummingbirds make calls that resemble ringing tiny bells while perched in the forest trees of the Rocky Mountain range.

A female Broad-tailed hummingbird is the oldest known hummingbird in the United States at 12 years of age.

Conclusion

To date, there are recorded sightings of seven different hummingbird species in Wyoming.

Refer to the descriptive list above if you are trying to identify the beautiful hummingbird zipping around your garden.

Most of these hummingbird species are accidental visitors, making them a rare sight. Still, the Broad-tailed hummingbird is a native breeder, making it a familiar fellow in this Western State.

More so, Wyoming is rich in wildlife. With 70 national parks, you’ll want to look out for more than just hummingbirds. Here are 13 native owl species of Wyoming. 

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