Hummingbird watchers in Texas have plenty to see each spring and summer. Because of its diverse landscape, Texas attracts 18 species of hummingbirds. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, every Texan can see at least two species of hummingbirds in his county, while some regions host up to 16. Identifying hummingbird species can be tricky because of subtle differences. Also, the dazzling iridescent color in the adult male’s throat region can be seen only at a certain angle and in proper light. The best position for an observer is between the sun and the bird. The hummingbirds listed here are among the most spectacular in the Lone Star State.
Male ruby-throats have a long, thin, dark bill, an iridescent red throat and a notched tail. Commonly found throughout the eastern part of Texas during spring and summer, Ruby-throats migrate across the state to the coasts in the fall. Once there, these hummingbirds bulk up before crossing the Gulf of Mexico to migrate south to Costa Rica.
The black-chinned hummingbird is the only hummingbird with a black chin and a purple band underneath. They can be spotted throughout the spring and summer in the western half of Texas and are usually gone by October.
Male buff-bellied hummingbirds have an overall greenish appearance, a green throat, cinnamon belly, rusty forked tail and orange bill. Common in Mexico, these birds can be found during the summer in Texas’s Lower Rio Grande Valley where they breed.
The largest hummingbird in North American, the blue-throated is the only hummingbird with white tips on his tail feathers. The blue-throated arrives in the Big Bend area of west Texas in early April and leaves by October.
One of the larger hummingbirds, the Magnificent has a dark bill, a green throat, a purple crown and a long tail. They breed in the Davis Mountains of West Texas and can arrive as early as spring and stay through mid November.