There have been reports of as many as 27 different species of hummingbirds seen in the United States. Some of these are common can be found every year, while some are rare or accidental visitors. When it comes to hummingbirds in Oregon, we have found 4 species that are common or semi-common, and 5 that have been spotted in Oregon more than once but are considered rare. That’s a total of 9 species of hummingbirds in Oregon, making Oregon one of the better states to feed and spot hummingbirds in America.
9 Hummingbirds in Oregon
Based on the range maps of authoritative sources like allaboutbirds.org and ebird.org, we’ve put together a list of hummingbirds that can be seen in the state of Oregon. The most common Oregon hummingbirds are black-chinned hummingbirds, Anna’s hummingbirds, rufous hummingbirds and calliope hummingbirds. For each species in this list you’ll find the species name, pictures and specifications about appearance, and where and when you may be able to spot them. We will list the 4 more common species first, and the 5 less common ones last.
Stay tuned at the end of the article for tips on attracting hummingbirds to your yard, and visit this article to find out when hummingbirds will be returning to your state.
1. Black-chinned Hummingbird
Scientific name: Archilochus alexandri
Black-chinned hummingbirds migrate north from Mexico and Central America each year and breed in the western United States. Males throat color looks plain black in most light, however they do have a small strip of purple feathers along the bottom that is sometimes visible. Females appear like most hummingbird females green above and pale below with a plain throat. They are widespread among many habitats from deserts to mountain forests and like to perch on bare branches.
Look for black-chinned hummingbirds throughout Oregon from spring to fall, although they are more frequently seen in the central and eastern portions of the state. In many spots they will be easiest to spot during spring or fall migration.
2. Calliope Hummingbird
Scientific name: Selasphorus calliope
The calliope hummingbird mainly spends its breeding season in the Pacific Northwest and parts of western Canada, but can be in many western states during the spring and fall migration. This is an impressively far migration, especially considering the calliope is the smallest bird in the United States! Males have a unique throat pattern of magenta stripes that fork down on the sides. Females are plain with some green spotting on the throat and peachy tinted underparts.
Some calliope hummingbirds only pass through Oregon during migration on their way further north, while some will stick around for the summer. In general eastern portions of the state will see most of them migrating through, they will stick around in central Oregon, and are more scarce along the western coast.
3. Rufous Hummingbird
Scientific name: Selasphorus rufus
Rufous hummingbirds are known for being very “feisty” when it comes to sharing feeders and chasing off other hummers. Males are orange all over with a white patch on the upper breast and an orange-red throat. Females are green with rusty patches and a speckled throat. In the spring they migrate up through California, spend their summer in Oregon, Washington and Canada, then zip back down through the Rockies in the fall.
Rufous hummingbirds can commonly be seen throughout Oregon, and they will stick around all summer to breed.
4. Anna’s Hummingbird
Scientific name: Calypte anna
Anna’s actually stay in the U.S. all year within most of their range, however you’ll only find them in a few of the western states, including Oregon. The green of their feathers tends to be a bit brighter and more iridescent than most others, and even their chest and belly are sprinkled with emerald feathers. Males have rosy-pink throats and those colorful feathers extend up onto their forehead. They are happy in backyards and love gardens and eucalyptus trees.
Anna’s are found year-round throughout the west coast of Oregon, as well as central Oregon north of Bend. In central Oregon south of Bend, they tend to only stick around for the breeding season then leave in the fall. They are much less common in the eastern half of the state.
5. Costa’s Hummingbird
Scientific name: Calypte costae
Male Costa’s are known for their deep purple faces. They have a splash of purple on their foreheads as well as their throat, with purple feathers flaring out on both sides like a mustache. Females are green above with white below. Costa’s are compact and compared to other hummingbirds have slightly shorter wings and tail. In the U.S. they can mainly be found in Baja, southern California, southern Nevada and western Arizona.
While considered rare in Oregon, there are still sporadic sightings of them in the state. Most of the recorded sightings I saw were in the western portion of the state.
6. Allen’s Hummingbird
Scientific name: Selasphorus sasin
These tiny guys fly all the way from Central America to breed along the Pacific Coast in California each year. They have very similar coloring to the Rufous hummingbird so it can be tricky distinguishing the two. Allen’s males are orange with a green back and orangey-red throat. Females have a speckled throat with dull green back and brownish-orange flanks. They migrate quite early compared to other hummingbirds, heading for California in January. This also means they can start to head south earlier as well, sometimes in May or June.
Allen’s are only common along a tiny strip of coast in the south of Oregon. Generally along the coast from the southern border up until Langolis. They are mostly absent from the rest of Oregon. Look for them starting in February and leaving in June or July.
7. Broad-tailed hummingbird
Scientific name: Selasphorus platycerus
Broad-tailed hummingbirds love the mountains and breed at elevations up to 10,500 feet. Males have a rosey-magenta colored throat. Females have some green spotting on their throat and cheeks, and buffy colored sides.
Broad-tailed hummingbirds are short term visitors in the U.S. so look for them between May and August in meadows and forest clearings.
While fairly common in neighboring Idaho, broad-tailed hummingbirds aren’t very common in Oregon but they do occasionally cross the border and wander into the state. Some spots that have a few recorded sightings are Fremont National Forest and Steens Mountain Wilderness area.
8. Ruby-throated hummingbird
Scientific name: Archilochus colubris
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are extremely common in the eastern half of the United States, but not in the west. They have a green back and white underparts. Males have a ruby red throat that can look black in certain lighting. Each spring they enter the country in droves from their wintering grounds in Central America. Many of those bound for the eastern states cross the Gulf of Mexico in a single flight.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are seen only sporadically throughout northwestern states like Oregon. They are considered quite rare for the state and there are very few recorded sightings.
9. Broad-billed Hummingbird
Scientific name: Cynanthus latirostris
The only two states in the U.S. where the broad-billed hummingbird is known to breed are Arizona and New Mexico. Males are hard to mistake with their purpleish-blue throat and blueish-green belly. They also have an orange beak with a black tip. Females are a washed out green above and grayish below with the typical black beak.
Broad-billed hummingbirds are considered quite rare for Oregon and I could only find a couple of recorded sightings, both in the eastern part of the state.
Attracting Hummingbirds To Your Yard
1. Hang Hummingbird Feeders
Perhaps the best way to attract hummingbirds is to hang a nectar feeder in your yard. Hummingbirds need to eat constantly and finding a reliable source of nectar is essential. Choose a feeder that has the color red on it, and is easy to take apart and clean. In hot weather, cleaning and refilling need to be done more than just once a week. We recommend a saucer shaped feeder for most people. They are super easy to clean, work great, and don’t hold an excessive amount of nectar.
You can also check out our top 5 favorite hummingbird feeders for a variety of styles.
2. Make Your Own Nectar
Avoid unnecessary (and sometimes dangerous) additives and red dyes by making your own nectar. It’s cheap, super easy and quick. All you need to do is add plain white sugar to water in a 1:4 ratio (1 cup sugar to 4 cups water). We have an easy how-to article on making your own nectar without having to boil the water.
3. Plant Native Flowers
Aside from a feeder, plant some flowers in your yard who’s blooms will attract passing hummingbirds. They are especially attracted to flowers that are red (as well as orange, pink and purple), and flowers with trumpet or tubular shaped blossoms. To maximize your space try some vertical planting. An obelisk trellis or a flat trellis attached to the side of your house can provide a great vertical surface for long cascading vines of flowers. Check out these 20 plants and flowers that attract hummingbirds.
4. Provide Water
Hummingbirds need water for drinking and bathing. Although they may find traditional bird baths too deep, they will use baths with the right “specifications”. Check out these great options for hummingbird baths you can buy, or ideas to DIY something perfect for your yard.
5. Promote Insects
Most hummingbirds can’t live on sugar alone, they also need to eat protein. Up to a third of their diet is small insects. This includes mosquitoes, fruit flies, spiders and gnats. Help out your hummers by staying away from pesticides. For more tips on insect feeders and ways you can help feed insects to hummingbirds check out our 5 easy tips.