Hummingbirds found in Missouri, USA
The following hummingbird species are known to occur in Missouri (with photos and ID assistance).
WHITE Hummingbird Sightings (Leucistic / Albino) - Rare Sightings
Ruby-throated Hummingbird, (Archilochus colubris) - Native Breeder. The only hummingbird to nest in Missouri and by far Missouri's smallest bird, Most arrive in late April and remain until August to late September. Frequently visit bird feeders. Some are resident (remain over the winter.)
Migrating males are usually the first to arrive and the first to depart. The females and the young usually follow about two weeks later.
The male has a ruby-red throat, a white collar, an emerald green back and a forked tail.
The female has a green back and tail feathers that are banded white, black and grey-green.
Anna's Hummingbirds (Calypte anna) - Accidental Vagrants
One of the larger and the most vocal hummingbirds in the United States, where it is the only species to produce a song; specifically the males produce a complex series of scratchy noises, sounding like a sharp "chee-chee-chee; when moving from flower to flower, they emit toneless "chip" vocalizations. All other hummingbirds in the United States are mostly silent.
They are well known for their territorial behavior; the male makes elaborate dive displays at other birds and sometimes even at people. At the bottom of their dives, they produce high-pitched loud popping sounds with their tail feathers.
Males have glossy dark rose-red throats and crowns, which may appear black or dark purple in low light. The underside is mostly greyish; and the back metallic green.
Females have light grey chests with white and red spotting on the throat, greenish back and white tipped tails.
They resemble the Costa's Hummingbirds, but the male's Costa's Hummingbird's gorget (throat feathers) is longer than that of the Anna's. They are larger than the Rufous Hummingbirds and lack the rusty coloration of the Rufous Hummingbirds.
Allen's Hummingbirds, Selasphorus sasin - Accidental Vagrants - First record of an immature male banded in Fenton, MO on November 27, 2008. Historically, these birds nested in coastal California and wintered in Mexico; but more and more of them are remaining in California year-round or are traveling to the eastern United States for the winter. The Allen's Hummingbird is often confused with the Rufous Hummingbird, but the Allen's can be identified by the green back whereas the Rufous Hummingbird has a coppery back.
The male has a throat that ranges in color from orange-red to yellow-orange, a back that is bright green, a rump that is rufous and its tail feathers are rufous tipped in black.
The female resembles the female Rufous Hummingbird, with a crown that is green, a breast that is white, a throat that is streaked and tail feathers that are rufous tipped in white. The only noticeable difference between the female Allen's Hummingbird and the female Rufous Hummingbird is that the female Allen's has narrower tail feathers. Other than that small detail, they are almost impossible to tell apart.
Black-chinned Hummingbirds (Archilochus alexandri) - Accidental Vagrants
The male has a black, shimmering throat with a purple edge and pale feathers below that create a collar. However, unless the light is just right, the head looks all black. His back is green and there are some green feathers covering the chest.
The female is pale below (sometimes with a slightly speckled throat) and her back is green.
Calliope Hummingbirds (Stellula calliope) - Accidental Vagrants
The smallest breeding bird in North America, weighting as little as a penny; as well as the smallest long distant migrant bird in the world - traveling as far as 9,000 km (5,600 miles) from the cold and harsh higher elevations of the western United States and Canada, to winter in southern Mexico. They tend to be less aggressive than the larger hummingbirds, and typically feed low in the flowers and away from the more aggressive hummingbird species.
The upper plumage of both males and females is mostly a glossy green and below creamy white. Relatively short tail and beak. Males have a white throat with iridescent elongated gorget (throat) feathers that form wine-red or purple streaks and -- when erected - show a "whiskered" effect. Females can be identified by their whitish throats with dark streaks.
Green Violetear Hummingbirds (Colibri thalassinus) - Rare / Accidental - They are mostly resident in Mexico and Central America, but some seasonal movements have been observed. They may wander north to the United States and even as far north as Canada..
Males and females look very similar. The upper plumage is grass green turning into a bronze color on the rump and uppertail feathers. They have a wide violet central breast spot on the upper breast and a violet-blue band along the chin that often connects to the violet-blue "ear", hence their common name. The tail is square and slightly notched with a broad dark blue band at the end of the tail.
Females are smaller and have a slightly duller plumage.
If you see a hummingbird that doesn't appear to be any of the above, please e-mail comments / images to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
The favorite feeding plants for Missouri Hummingbirds are:
Many hummingbirds favor red blossoms with a tubular shape (but some species prefer other colors). Hummingbirds feed readily on pink, blue, orange, peach and purple flowers.
Shrubs / Trees / Vines
Biennials / Perennials
Also refer to this page about Attracting Hummingbirds to your garden.
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