Hummingbirds in Texas

Texas is an excellent place to be for hummingbird lovers as there are almost 20 species that either live in the state or visit during their migration.

Due to the state’s location in the southern regions of the US, it has warmer climates suitable for hummingbirds to live throughout the year, especially in Southern Texas. So, species like the black-chinned, rufous, and buff-bellied hummingbirds are often found to be year-long residents.

Hummingbirds in Texas (TX)

List of Different Types of Hummingbirds in Texas

Hummingbirds often display sexual dimorphism, with the females of most species typically having a nondescript greenish-gray plumage. So, the identification is usually done with the male birds that typically have iridescent green base plumage with different markings.

Name of the SpeciesIdentifying Features (Males)Where They Can be Seen
Ruby-throated HummingbirdBright red throat with a distinct white collar, and white underpartsEast Texas, primarily in woodland and gardens
Black-chinned HummingbirdGlossy purple-black throat, shimmering greenish back, and white underpartsThroughout Texas, in urban and suburban areas with flowering plants and feeders
Anna’s HummingbirdDistinctive pinkish-red crown and throatRarely in far west Texas near the border with Mexico
Rufous HummingbirdBright red throat with a distinct white collar and white underpartsCommon in the Panhandle and West Texas
Broad-tailed HummingbirdIridescent rose throat with white underpartsThe western part of the state, near Mexico, particularly in montane habitats, pine-oak forests, and near streams
Blue-throated MountaingemBrilliant blue throat, deep green body, and a white line behind the eyeSouth and West Texas, especially in oak-pine woodlands, canyons, and desert scrub
Lucifer HummingbirdGlossy red throat and slightly forked tailThe lower Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
Mexican Violetear (Green Violetear)Bright green plumage with a vibrant violet-blue crownRarely in far south Texas, near the Mexican border
Green-breasted MangoVibrant plumage with a green throatThe lower Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
Amethyst-throated MountaingemAmethyst throat, white underparts, and a long tailExtremely rare, western Texas, mountainous regions
Costa’s HummingbirdGlossy purple crown and white underpartsPrimarily found in the Big Bend region of West Texas
White-eared HummingbirdA distinctive white ear patch, and a dark maskThe Big Bend region of West Texas, particularly in desert scrub, and arid canyons
Violet-crowned HummingbirdA distinctive white ear patch and a dark maskWest Texas, especially in high-elevation canyons and desert areas with agave and yucca plants
Berylline HummingbirdIridescent throat and crown, and a deep pinkish-red billRarely seen in the Davis Mountains of West Texas
Calliope HummingbirdA rosy throat patch, iridescent gorget, and white underpartsRarely in the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas, particularly in higher-elevation woodlands and meadows
Buff-bellied HummingbirdGreen throat, cinnamon sides, and a dark maskPrimarily found in the lower Rio Grande Valley, especially in subtropical forests, gardens, and near coastal habitats
Rivoli’s HummingbirdGreen throat and crown, with a deep blue patch on the chestWest Texas, often in montane pine-oak forests and canyons
Broad-billed HummingbirdBright green back, iridescent throat, and a purple-blue billThe southern and western parts of Texas, in desert scrub and canyons
Allen’s HummingbirdShiny reddish throat, and a distinct white eye patchThe Big Bend region and Trans-Pecos area

When Do Hummingbirds Arrive in the State

Resident species of the southern parts of the state, like the black-chinned and rufous hummingbirds, may migrate northwards in early spring (early March) as the temperatures fall. Other species, like the ruby-throated hummingbird and blue-throated mountaingem, arrive from Mexico and regions further south in spring and stay for their breeding season.

In late summer and fall (July to November), once the temperature starts getting colder again, the migrating species head back towards Mexico.

One noteworthy spot to see the summer migration of the ruby-throated hummingbird is the Rockport-Fulton HummerBird Celebration held every year in September. The coastal cities of Rockport and Fulton see a congregation of thousands of these hummingbirds as they prepare for their journey southward.

Some of the rare non-breeding visitors, like the Mexican violetear and amethyst-throated mountaingem, do not usually stay in the state but are rather spotted on their way to states further north. In fact, there is only 1 confirmed sighting of the amethyst-throated mountaingem in the state when 1 male was spotted in the Davis Mountains in 2016.

Maps are used to keep track of hummingbird sightings in different regions of the United States to trace their yearly migration routes.


1. When to put out hummingbird feeders in Texas?

As most hummingbirds start arriving in March, it is an ideal time to set up feeders to attract them to your yard. In the northern parts, you can take the feeders down once hummingbirds leave in winter. But in southern Texas, the feeders can stay up all year for the resident species.

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