Hummingbirds are small birds that are native to the Americas and there are around 361 species. These birds are named after the humming noise their wings make whilst in flight. They beat their wings really quickly and feed mainly on nectar that they drink whilst hovering in front of the flower they are feeding from. They are also the only bird species that can fly backward.
There are 8 different species of hummingbirds that have been spotted in Michigan, although most of them are seldom seen. In fact, it is only the ruby-throated hummingbird that you are likely to see in the state. Nonetheless, this article lists all 8 of the hummingbirds of Michigan.
Different Types of Hummingbirds in Michigan
All the hummingbirds on this list boast beautiful, iridescent plumages. Green tends to be the dominant color, although a variety can be seen. Costa’s hummingbird has a stunning purple face, whilst the rufous hummingbird is predominantly bright orange.
Although all these hummingbird species feed mainly on nectar, and occasionally insects, they occupy a variety of habitats. Anna’s habitats are frequent urban habitats as well as rural ones. Berylline hummingbirds on the other hand favor arid environments, whilst white-eared hummingbirds occupy montane forests.
Most of the birds on this list are rare visitors to Michigan, although they have a habit of returning to the same place year after year.
Scientific Name: Calypte anna
Although they are small for a bird, Anna’s hummingbirds are stocky among the hummingbird species. They have a length of just under 5 inches and weigh around 0.2 ounces. These birds have iridescent green and grey plumage.
The male’s head and throat are coated in metallic red feathers, although they can appear dull brown when sunlight is not directly shining on them. Females also have metallic red gorgets, but they are much smaller and paler than males. Their bill is thin and straight. They quickly zip from flower to flower, consuming the nectar they contain.
They also consume a wide array of insects as well as tree sap. They hover in front of flowers as they forage and feed. Anna’s hummingbirds occupy urban, suburban, and rural habitats such as backyards, parks, and open woodlands. They are located in North America and are most common along the pacific coast although have been spotted in Michigan, are rare.
Scientific Name: Amazilia beryllia
The berylline hummingbirds have shiny green heads that extend down to their chest and the top of their back. Their underparts are metallic gold-green whilst their back is brown. Their wing and tail tips are purple-red. They have a black upper bill and a red lower bill, although the red is difficult to spot.
They use this narrow bill to forage for nectar in a wide variety of flowering plants. The berylline hummingbird occupies primarily arid landscapes including oak and pine woodlands, thorn forests, and also backyards. They range from Mexico to Honduras but also have a small range in North America, including Arizona and Michigan but they are a rare sight.
Broad Billed Hummingbird
Scientific Name: Cyanthus latirostris
Broad-billed hummingbirds exhibit sexual dimorphism. Males boast metallic blue and green plumage. Their wingtips are brown-gray in color. Females on the other hand have golden-green upper parts and are grey below. Both sexes have a bright red bill that is black at the tip. These birds consume nectar by inserting their long bill into flowers or hummingbird feeders. They also eat insects that they obtain through gleaning and flycatching.
Broad-billed hummingbirds live along stream sides in canyons, in either open woodlands or densely vegetated habitats. These hummingbirds are year-round residents in Central Mexico and along the Pacific Coast. Although present in Michigan, they have only been spotted a few times and are not Native to the state.
Scientific Name: Calypte costae
Male and female Costa hummingbirds can be distinguished by their plumage. Males boast an iridescent purple crown, face, and gorget. The rest of their plumage is predominantly green. On the other hand, females lack purple feathers and have green upperparts and white underparts. These birds have small and compact bodies, measuring around 3.5 inches in length and weighing 0.1 ounces.
Costa’s hummingbirds drink nectar from a variety of desert plants, including ocotillo and chuparosa. They insert their long, thin ills into the plants to get at the nectar. They will also consume small flying insects. Desert scrub is the main habitat of Costa’s hummingbirds and they build nests in shrubs that are quite close to the ground. These birds are residents of California and Arizona. They are not a native species to Michigan but have been spotted in the state, albeit rarely.
Scientific Name: Colibri thalassinus
Mexican violetears boast an overall metallic green plumage. They have bright blue chests and vibrant blue patches on either side of their head. Their wing and tail tips are dark brown. Both sexes look almost identical, but males are slightly larger and have more vibrant coloration.
Common habitats for the Mexican violetear include borders of forests and woodlands, especially with pine and oak trees. They forage near the canopies of flowering trees, feeding primarily on nectar and small insects. They are a fairly vocal species, producing metallic, chirping songs. They breed throughout Mexico and Central America although may fly North to Texas and Michigan.
Ruby Throated Hummingbird
Scientific Name: Archilochus colubris
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the most common hummingbird species in Michigan. These birds have a slender black bill that curves downwards and they also exhibit sexual dimorphism. As their name suggests, male ruby-throated hummingbirds boast an iridescent red throat, although it looks dark when not exposed to direct sunlight. They have white-gray underparts and the rest of their plumage is metallic golden-green.
Females on the other hand, also have golden-green feathers but lack the iconic red throat. They have very short legs meaning they cannot walk, only shuffle. Nectar obtained from flowers makes up the majority of this bird’s diet, although they also feed on small insects that they flycatcher or pluck from spider webs.
They favor flowers that are tubular in shape and fiery in color. They can be aggressive and defend their flowers. These birds live in open habitats such as meadows, backyards, and woodland edges. Ruby-throated hummingbirds breed in Northeast America and are commonly spotted in Michigan, especially during the summer months.
Scientific Name: Selasphorus rufus
Rufous hummingbirds have long, straight bills and show sexual dimorphism. Females are green-brown and have a subtle patch of orange on their throats. Males, on the other hand, have bright orange plumage and an iridescent orange gorget. They dart around quickly, drinking nectar from flowers and eating insects that they flycatcher. They also commonly visit hummingbird feeders. These birds breed in shrubby and open habitats such as backyards, meadows, and thickets. They migrate from their breeding grounds in Alaska down to Mexico over the winter.
Relative to their size, they are one of the longest migrating birds, traveling up to 4000 miles each way. Rufous hummingbirds are not overly common in Michigan but have been spotted in the state feasting at hummingbird feeders over the winter.
White Eared Hummingbird
Scientific Name: Basilinna leucotis
White-eared hummingbirds are a fairly stocky species. Males and females can be identified mainly by their bills. Males have a red bill that is black at the tip, whilst females’ bills are mainly black with some red at the base. Their upper parts are metallic bronze-green and the head and wingtips are dark browns.
Females have pale throats whilst males’ heads and throats flash bright purple and green in direct sunlight. As their name suggests, both sexes have thick, white ear stripes. They forage for nectar in a variety of flowering plants, feeding at proximities fairly close to the ground.
White-eared hummingbirds occupy montane forests but nest in scrubby woodland and even backyards. They are most common across Arizona, Mexico, and Texas but are rarer in the United States. They were last sighted in Michigan in 2005.
FAQ Different Hummingbirds of Michigan
You may also like Birds with Orange Chests