where are humming birds from

Hummingbirds can be found in many parts of the world but they prefer warm climates. They like areas with plenty of flowers and trees that offer them food and shelter.

Watching hummingbirds flit around your garden is a joy to watch, and it sure feels like a magical experience. They are fascinating creatures with many exciting behaviors. They are fast and beautiful birds and have unique characteristics that make them a favorite among bird and nature lovers. Most hummingbirds live in the tropics, with a majority of them, 130-160 different species living mainly in Colombia and Ecuador. Only 17 species consistently nest within the United States among them the ruby-throated hummingbirds, rufous hummingbirds, the annas hummingbird, which is the most common species along the Pacific Coast, and Allens Hummingbirds (common along the coastal Oregon & California).

***While a few may adopt a temporary territory with a more favorable climate as their breeding grounds, the Annas rarely migrate. They mostly stay in the same area all year round.Early summer is a peak time of activity for hummingbirds sightings. If you are an avid bird watcher, you might have noticed that they are mostly around during spring and early summer as its their peak time for activities. By this time, the young hummingbirds will have “fledged” and left the safety of their nests.

Sexual dimorphisms edit Male FemaleSexual dimorphism in

Rensch’s rule [63] states that hummingbirds exhibit sexual size dimorphism, with males in small-bodied species being smaller than females and males in large-bodied species larger than females. [64] The degree to which hummingbird clades differ in this sexual size difference For instance, the Mellisugini clade of bees displays a significant size dimorphism, with females being larger than males [64][65]. On the other hand, the Lesbiini clade, which includes coquettes, exhibits minimal size dimorphism, with males and females having similar sizes. [65] Male and female hummingbirds differ sexually in terms of bill size and shape. In many clades, females have longer, more curved bills that are better suited for reaching nectar from tall flowers. [66] Females typically have larger bills compared to males of the same size. [65].

The constraints of courtship are probably what led to the evolution of sexual size and bill differences, as male hummingbird mating displays necessitate intricate aerial maneuvers. [63] Because males are typically smaller than females, they can conserve energy to engage in competitive foraging and courtship more frequently. [63] Thus, sexual selection favors smaller male hummingbirds. [63].

Larger and more energy-demanding, female hummingbirds have longer beaks that enable them to more successfully reach into the nooks and crannies of tall flowers to collect nectar. Because of their larger bodies, females are therefore better at gathering nectar from flowers, foraging, and meeting their energy needs. In order to obtain food, directional selection therefore favors the larger hummingbirds [66]. [64].

The selective pressures resulting from the sexes of each species’ rivalry for nectar are another evolutionary factor contributing to sexual dimorphism. [65] The other sex, which has a longer bill and can eat a wider variety of flowers, is advantageous, reducing intraspecific competition, depending on which sex holds territory in the species. [66] For instance, in hummingbird species where the males have longer bills, the males use a lek mating system and do not maintain a specific territory. [66] Males protect their resources in species where females have longer bills than males, allowing females to feed on a wider variety of flowers. [66].

Phylogeny edit

According to a phylogenetic tree, South America is the hummingbird’s original home, and the last common ancestor of all living hummingbirds lived about 22 million years ago. [9].

Reconstructed from analysis of 284 species, a map of the hummingbird family tree demonstrates rapid diversification from 22 million years ago. The relationship between hummingbirds and nectar-bearing flowering plants is what draws them to new geographic areas. Hummingbirds are classified into nine main clades, which include topazes, hermits, mangoes, brilliants, coquettes, giant hummingbirds, mountaingems, bees, and emeralds. [9][43][44].

Molecular phylogenetic analyses established the connections among the main hummingbird groups. [9][44] The English names in the cladogram below are those that were first used in 1997. [46] The scientific names are those introduced in 2013.


Florisuginae – topazes

Phaethornithinae – hermits

Polytminae – mangoes


Heliantheini – brilliants

Lesbiini – coquettes

Patagoninae – giant hummingbird


Lampornithini – mountain gems

Mellisugini – bees

Trochilini – emeralds

Although nectar from flowers powers the high metabolisms and hovering flight of all hummingbirds, coordinated modifications to the shape of flowers and bills encouraged the emergence of new hummingbird and plant species. In a particular area, like the Andes range, up to 140 different species of hummingbirds can coexist because of this remarkable evolutionary pattern. [42].

According to the hummingbird evolutionary tree, one important evolutionary factor that may have allowed hummingbirds to seek nectar was a modified taste receptor. [48].

Males of a specific species, the long-billed hermit Phaethornis longirostris, seem to be developing a dagger-like weapon on the tip of their beak as a secondary sexual characteristic to protect mating areas once they reach adulthood. [49].

Feather colors edit Male Anna’s hummingbird showing iridescent crown and gorget feathers

The coloration of hummingbird plumage varies, especially when it comes to blue, green, and purple hues in the males’ throat and crown, which account for 74 percent of the total color space for bird feathers. [5] In the hummingbird’s color spectrum, white (unpigmented) feathers are the least common. [5] Sexual and social selection on plumage coloration led to the evolution of hummingbird plumage color diversity, which is correlated with the rate of hummingbird species development over millions of years. [5] Males’ vivid plumage colors are a result of their fierce competition for mate selection and flower resources. [5][67] Pigmentation in the feathers and prismal cells in the upper layers of the head, gorget, breast, back, and wing feathers produce the vivid colors. Sunlight strikes these cells and splits into wavelengths that reflect in different intensities back to the observer, with the feather structure serving as a diffraction grating [5][68]. [68] Since melanin, a pigment, makes up the diffraction structures themselves, iridescent hummingbird colors are a result of both refraction and pigmentation. In addition, carotenoid pigmentation and more muted black, brown, or gray colors that depend on melanin can also produce color. [68].

Feather regions of a bird that appears muted can be instantly made to appear fiery red or vivid green by simply changing position. [68] Males of the vibrant Annas hummingbird, for instance, align their bodies and feathers toward the sun during courtship displays to increase the display value of their iridescent plumage toward a female of interest. [69].

A research conducted on Annas hummingbirds revealed that the color of their feathers was influenced by the amount of protein in their diet. The birds that were fed a low-protein diet did not develop as colorful crown feathers as those that received more protein. Furthermore, compared to birds on a low-protein diet, birds on a high-protein diet developed green tail feathers that were yellower (higher hue). [70].


Where do hummingbirds originate from?

Though scientists theorize that hummingbirds originated in South America, where species diversity is greatest, possible ancestors of extant hummingbirds may have lived in parts of Europe and what is southern Russia today. As of 2023, 366 hummingbird species have been identified.

Where do hummingbirds mostly live?

All hummingbird species can be found in the Americas. Of the remaining hummingbird species, only eight regularly breed in the United States – the vast majority live further south in the tropics in Central and South America and the Caribbean countries.

What countries are hummingbirds found?

Mexico is also known for hosting both native and migratory hummingbirds through the seasons. Other countries known for their ideal hummingbird habitats and diverse species include Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Panama, Nicaragua, and multiple portions of the United States.

What is the lifespan of a hummingbird in the wild?

What is the lifespan of a hummingbird?” asks Birds & Blooms reader Terry Burkhart of Landers, California. Birding experts Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman write, “These tiny creatures don’t live long. Based on banding studies, 7 or 8 years is a ripe old age for most hummingbirds in the wild.