5 Hummingbirds in New York


It’s possible that hummingbirds dislike the climate of the State of New York, which is why there are only five documented hummingbird species, one of which is breeding there.

Let’s hop in and take a look at the nesting and migratory habits of the 5 hummingbirds in New York to fully understand why there are so few of them.

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
  • Anna’s Hummingbirds
  • Calliope Hummingbirds
  • Rufous Hummingbirds
  • Broad-billed Hummingbirds

Note: The hummingbirds are ranked in no particular order.

1. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

Scientific name: Archilochus colubris

One of the most widespread hummingbird species, at least when it comes to the USA, ruby-throated hummingbirds are a common sight in the state of New York.

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These mostly dark birds are characterized by the male’s throat, which is colored in red, and the metallic-green backs and wings.

They have the largest breeding range of all American hummingbirds, so they’re often in contact with people. Ruby-throated hummingbirds can be easily attracted to nectar feeders.

2. Anna’s Hummingbirds

Scientific name: Calypte anna

It’s interesting that Anna’s hummingbirds were documented in New York, given that they’re West Coast birds that usually nest and breed near the shore.

However, their migration range is seemingly endless and they’ve been spotted in most states (barring Hawaii), and Mexico too.

Anna’s hummingbirds can be easily recognized by their pink iridescent heads, donned by both males and females.

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Don’t expect to find this bird anytime soon, though. These hummingbirds in New York State are only seen rarely and those sightings are exceptions, not rules.

3. Calliope Hummingbirds

Scientific name: Selasphorus calliope

Calliope hummingbirds are very small birds, native to the Rocky Mountains.

They’re often found migrating to the West Coast, and while extremely rarely – they’re also found migrating to the East Coast, including New York State.

Because of their very small body and massive distances crossed, calliope hummingbirds have the biggest size-to-distance-traveled ratio out of all animals.

The chest is mostly white with red marks, while the back is glossy green. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever spot it in New York, as they’re seen there very rarely.

4. Rufous Hummingbirds

Scientific name: Selasphorus rufus 

Although they’re usually found in the northwestern USA and western Canada, rufous hummingbirds migrate to Mexico and the southern USA to survive the winter.

During these massive migrations, a bird can make a mistake and head in the wrong direction – this is why some birds (especially hummingbirds) are found so far out of their natural habitat.

This happens rarely, however, and they’re not a common sight on the East Coast. They’re recognized by the rufous head and body of the male, with a white chest.

5. Broad-billed Hummingbirds

Photo: Melissa McMasters / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Cynanthus latirostris

While they mostly nest in Mexico and the southern USA, these hummingbirds have been recorded in many places across the Northern American continent, including the State of New York.

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This is rare, however, and the reason behind it is not at all clear (the theory about the bird simply making a mistake is the most likely story behind it).

These hummingbirds in New York City feed on both insects and nectar, so it’s possible to attract them to your yard if they ever wander that far away from home.

Final Thoughts on Hummingbirds in New York

Aside from the rosy-throated hummingbird, most hummingbirds find New York a difficult place to adapt to because of the cold climate. The other four species only occur there by accident, most likely wandering away from their natural habitat.

Hummingbirds are a highly migratory family of birds, traveling across thousands of miles on their trips, and it’s no wonder that there are hummingbirds in New York even if they don’t belong there.

Learn More About Hummingbirds:

  1. 5 Hummingbirds in Georgia
  2. 4 Types of Hummingbirds in Florida
  3. Do Hummingbirds Play Dead?
  4. Can Hummingbirds Fly In The Rain?
  5. Do Hummingbirds Lay Eggs?
Get Our FREE Bird Feeder Cheat Sheet
Want more birds in your backyard? Get simple tips on attracting feathered friends and maximizing your bird feeding setup. Our free cheat sheet has got you covered!
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James Goodman

James is a native Texan with a love for birding and outdoor adventures. When he's not birdwatching, you can find him hiking, camping or playing the piano.

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