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17 Species of Hummingbirds in Texas (Pictures)

 Last Reviewed by Jesse Foutch on 02-26-2024

The United States has around 25 species of hummingbirds, and Texas, due to its prime location, is home to 17 of these, including both regulars and occasional visitors. This makes Texas a key state for hummingbird diversity, potentially offering the widest variety of species in the country. Texans are fortunate to have access to so many species of these amazing little birds, providing unique opportunities for observation and enjoyment.

The Hummingbirds of Texas

The 17 species of hummingbird you may be able to see in Texas, including both common and rare species, are the:

  1. Ruby-throated hummingbird
  2. Broad-tailed hummingbird
  3. Buff-bellied hummingbird
  4. Blue-throated mountain gem
  5. Black-chinned hummingbird
  6. Calliope hummingbird
  7. Rufous hummingbird
  8. Lucifer hummingbird
  9. Anna’s hummingbird
  10. Broad-billed hummingbird
  11. Magnificent hummingbird
  12. Allen’s hummingbird
  13. White-eared hummingbird
  14. Mexican violetear
  15. Violet-crowned hummingbird
  16. Berylline hummingbird
  17. and the green-breasted mango.

First I’ll we look at the 8 species of hummingbirds that either have an official range in Texas, or pass through the state during migration. For the remaining 9 vagrant species, I’ve put together some additional helpful info and pictures for each one.

1. Ruby-throated Hummingbird

ruby throated hummingbird

  • Scientific name: Archilochus colubris
  • Length: 2.8-3.5 in
  • Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz
  • Wingspan: 3.1-4.3 in

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are common in the eastern half of Texas in cities like Austin, Houston, and Dallas. North and south of Austin is a migration path only but to the east is also a breeding range for these hummers.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the only breeding hummingbirds in eastern North America but also have the largest breeding range of any North American hummingbird.


2. Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-Tailed Hummingbird (Photo credit: photommo/flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)
  • Scientific name: Selasphorus platycercus
  • Length: 3.1-3.5 in
  • Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz
  • Wingspan: 5.25 in

Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are common in western Texas with a breeding range in areas like El Paso and Big Bend National Park. They have a migration only range just east of there in cities like Midland and Amarillo, but further east than that they are mostly uncommon.

They are common in their range between May and August, but only spend a few months in the U.S. each year. During this time they are regularly seen whizzing around nectar feeders and snatching bugs out of the air.


3. Buff-bellied Hummingbird

  • Scientific name: Amazilia yucatanensis
  • Length: 3.9-4.3 in
  • Weight: 0.1 oz
  • Wingspan: 5.75 in

These hummingbirds are only found in southern and southeastern Texas in cities like Corpus Christi and Houston. Buff-bellied Hummingbirds go as far east as Louisiana making Texas and Louisiana the only two states you can find them in the U.S.

They stay along the Gulf coast and don’t venture very far inland. Buff-bellied Hummingbirds are less common than other species in Texas because of their limited distribution overall.


4. Blue-throated Mountain Gem

  • Scientific name: Lampornis clemenciae
  • Length: 4.3-4.7 in
  • Weight: 0.3 oz
  • Wingspan: 2.3-3.1 in

Blue-throated Hummingbirds, aka Blue-throated Mountain Gems, have a very limited range in the United States. The only 3 states they can be found in are Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

Arizona by far has the largest distribution in the southeast corner of the state with Texas and New Mexico having only a couple of small spots where they can be occasionally seen. In Texas, your best chance to see a Blue-throated Mountain Gem is going to be in and around Big Bend National Park.


5. Black-chinned Hummingbird

  • Scientific name: Archilochus alexandri
  • Length: 3.5 in
  • Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz
  • Wingspan: 4.3 in

Black-chinned Hummingbirds are common in all of central and western Texas. Only in the eastern parts and northern tip of the state do they not have a range in Texas.

They migrate north from Mexico and Central America each year and breed in  the eastern United States from Texas to Idaho and every state west of that line. Just like other species, the best way to attract these hummingbirds in Texas is to put out nectar feeders and colorful, nectar rich native flowers.


6. Calliope Hummingbird

photo by Dan Pancamo | CC 2.0
  • Scientific name: Selasphorus calliope
  • Length: 3.1-3.5 in
  • Weight: 0.1 oz
  • Wingspan: 4.1-4.3 in

Calliope Hummingbirds only pass through western parts of Texas like Big Bend National Park and El Paso during migration. They migrate mostly to the Pacific Northwest and parts of western Canada to breed each year.

Calliope’s are very small, even for hummingbirds, and are among the smallest hummers in North America. They migrate to their breeding grounds each year in the spring and will pass back through Texas by late September or early October.


7. Rufous Hummingbird

male rufous hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird (male) | image by William Garrett via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Selasphorus rufus
  • Length: 3.1-3.7 in
  • Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz
  • Wingspan: 4.3 in

Rufous Hummingbirds also just pass through Texas during migrations, and only in the western half of the state. If you live west of Dallas/Ft. Worth then you might just be lucky enough to have some visit your feeders.

However they’ll generally only make a pit stop for a week or two at most and then move on so be on the look out for them. Rufous Hummingbirds are known for being very “feisty” when it comes to sharing feeders and may even chase off other hummers.


8. Lucifer Hummingbird

  • Scientific name: Calothorax lucifer
  • Length: 3.5 in
  • Weight: 0.1 oz
  • Wingspan: 4 in

Lucifer Hummingbirds have a breeding population in the Big Bend National Park area in Texas. They are also found in extreme southern New Mexico and Arizona near the border and that’s it for the entire United States.

Lucifer Hummingbirds can be found in these areas starting in early March through as late as early November each year. They can be identified by a downward curved bill, long forked tails, and the males have a purple throat.

Rare hummingbirds in Texas

These next hummingbirds do not have an official range in Texas, but there have been sightings over the years.

 

9. Anna’s Hummingbird

anna's hummingbird
photo credit: Becky Matsubara, CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Calypte anna
  • Length: 3.9-4.3 in
  • Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz
  • Wingspan: 4.7 in

Slightly larger than Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Anna’s Hummingbirds are sporadically observed in western and northwestern Texas, particularly in areas with dense shrubbery and feeder-friendly urban gardens. These birds are notable for their vibrant green and rose-pink coloration, making them a spectacular sight against Texas’s varied landscapes.

Adapted to a variety of habitats, Anna’s Hummingbirds have shown resilience in urban environments, often being the most common hummingbird species in residential areas on the west coast, hinting at their potential adaptability to Texas’s growing cities.


10. Broad-billed Hummingbird

photo by: Heather Paul | CC 2.0
  • Scientific name: Cynanthus latirostris
  • Length: 3.1-3.9 in
  • Weight: 0.1-0.14 oz
  • Wingspan: 5.1 in

Broad-billed Hummingbirds, with their distinctive bright blue throat and green plumage, are occasional visitors to western Texas, especially around the Davis Mountains. These birds are primarily found in canyons and riverine woods, where their colorful presence adds to the biodiversity of these ecosystems.

The iridescent blue coloration of males, combined with their unique red bill, makes them one of the most visually striking hummingbirds that might grace Texas feeders.


11. Magnificent Hummingbird

photo by: naturespicsonline.com | CC 3.0
  • Scientific name: Eugenes fulgens
  • Length: 4.3-5.5 in
  • Weight: 0.21-0.24 oz
  • Wingspan: 7.1 in

Formerly known as “Rivoli’s Hummingbird,” the Magnificent Hummingbird, known for its sizable stature and vibrant plumage, has been occasionally spotted in West Texas’s high elevation areas, such as the Guadalupe and Davis mountains.

These birds, with their deep green backs and striking purple throats in males, prefer montane forests and edges, where they can be seen darting among the tree canopies. Their presence in Texas is a rare but awe-inspiring sight, highlighting the diverse habitats within the state that support a range of hummingbird species.


12. Allen’s Hummingbird

  • Scientific name: Selasphorus sasin
  • Length: 3.5 in
  • Weight: 0.1 oz
  • Wingspan: 4.3 in

These tiny guys fly all the way from Central America to breed along the Pacific Coast in California each year. A few vagrants have found their way into Texas over the year but it’s very rare. They’re mainly spotted during migrations.

When they do visit, they prefer coastal areas and open woodlands, where their bright orange-red throats and green backs blend beautifully with the local flora.

This species is highly territorial, often seen chasing away rivals with astonishing speed and agility. Their migration through Texas is brief, but their presence is a treat for bird watchers in the state.


13. White-eared Hummingbird

photo by: Dominic Sherony | CC 2.0
  • Scientific name: Hylocharis leucotis
  • Length: 3.5-4.3 in
  • Weight: 0.1-0.14 oz

There have been various sightings of White-eared Hummingbirds in Texas near the Davis Mountains, but they are very rare to the state in general.

This bird can be identified by its distinctive white ear stripe set against a backdrop of emerald and black plumage. They frequent highland forests and edges, where their presence adds a dash of color and vibrancy. While their sightings in Texas are uncommon, these hummingbirds contribute to the state’s rich tapestry of bird diversity.


14. Mexican Violetear (aka Green Violetear)

photo by: Mmcnally | CC 3.0
  • Scientific name: Colibri thalassinus
  • Length: 3.9-4.7 in
  • Weight: 0.18-0.22 oz

The Mexican Violetear, considered rare and non-breeding visitors to the state of Texas, is known for its dazzling green plumage and violet ear patches. These hummingbirds are usually found in mountainous areas but have been recorded in Texas gardens, especially those that offer rich nectar sources.

Their vibrant appearance and spirited behavior make any sighting in Texas a memorable event, highlighting the state’s role as a crossroads for migratory birds from Central America.


15. Violet-crowned Hummingbird

photo by: VJAnderson | CC 4.0
  • Scientific name: Amazilia violiceps
  • Length: 3.9-4.3 in
  • Weight: 0.18-0.2 oz

Violet-crowned Hummingbirds, characterized by their striking violet caps and pristine white underparts, are a rare sight in Texas, with appearances mainly concentrated in the state’s southwestern regions.

These birds, typically inhabitants of riparian zones, play a crucial role in their ecosystems by pollinating flowers. Despite the limited number of sightings—less than two dozen accepted records in Texas—they symbolize the rich avian diversity extending from Mexico into Texas.

Their presence, albeit scarce, underscores the connectivity of habitats across borders, with a modest breeding population established in southern New Mexico and Arizona, close to the Texas boundary.


16. Berylline Hummingbird

photo by: Dominic Sherony | CC 2.0
  • Scientific name: Amazilia beryllina
  • Length: 3.5-4 in
  • Weight: 0.14-0.18 oz

The Berylline Hummingbird, recognized by its shimmering green body and rufous tail, is an extremely rare visitor to Texas, with a few sightings reported since 1997. These birds prefer wooded areas and are known for their distinctive, buzzy wing sounds.

Their presence in Texas, though sporadic, underscores the state’s importance as a habitat for a variety of hummingbird species, serving as a northern outpost for some of Central America’s most beautiful birds.


17. Green-breasted Mango

photo by: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren | CC 2.0
  • Scientific name: Anthracothorax prevostii
  • Length: 4.3-4.7 in
  • Weight: 0.21-0.24 oz

The Green-breasted Mango, a Central American native, has been spotted in Texas around 20 times over the years, making it a rare but exciting find. These hummingbirds, with their long, curved bills and distinctive green and black plumage, are usually found in tropical lowlands but have been observed in Texas’s southern regions.

Their sightings, though infrequent, are a testament to the diverse range of habitats in Texas that support a wide array of bird species, including those from tropical climates. 

When do hummingbirds start to arrive in Texas?

It may vary slightly each year and by species, but most hummingbirds will start arriving in southern Texas each year in early to mid March and then all through April. It depends on what part of Texas you live in, since it’s such a large state.

So have your feeders ready around these times and be sure to check out our article about how to attract hummingbirds to your yard!

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4 thoughts on “17 Species of Hummingbirds in Texas (Pictures)”

    • I am in Plano as well and I have seen two different ones at my feeder in the past few days. I think one is a Rufous and the other was very muted with faint (very faint like a watercolor tint) reddish-orange on the chin and chest. I think there is a nest close by. It could be a male and female coming to visit or a fledgling. I am going to research Cornell to get a better idea because none of these images match what I have been seeing.

  1. I was on the back porch and the largest hummingbird I have ever seen flew withing a few feet of me and then flew away. It had a very low frequency wing beat sound. It was almost the size of a starling but not as thick. It was primarily brown with a lighter breast. We have feeders up for the migration and have planted to help feed them, as well. We live in Cameron County, Texas, about 3 miles northeast of Rio Hondo.

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