There are species of hummingbirds that are endangered worldwide. While this may not be a shock (due to all we know about climate change, habitat loss & biodiversity loss), we must keep ourselves informed on this topic.
Hummingbirds have a vital role in improving the ecosystem of plants. Since they’re excellent pollinators, their work is crucial in the life cycle of flowers.
Hummingbirds belong to the Trochilidae family, and there are about 300 species of hummers worldwide. Unfortunately, many species are becoming rarer as time passes; this is terrible news because the world needs efficient pollinators!
The list of endangered species of hummingbirds keeps changing and getting longer, so there is much-contradicting information out there.
The critically endangered list keeps increasing too. But what does critically endangered mean? It means there is a 50% chance that this species will become extinct in the next 10 years.
But let’s go beyond the surface.
Table of Contents
List of endangered Hummingbird Species
The International Union for conservation of nature (IUCN) states that 26 hummingbird species are endangered or critically endangered (and 13 vulnerable)
But to be more comprehensive, we will represent this info in the tables above:
10% chance of becoming extinct in the next 10 years (vulnerable):
COMMON NAMES – SPANISH NAME
• Santa Marta Blossomcrown – Anthocephala floriceps
• Hook-billed Hermit – Glaucis dohrnii
• Black Inca – Coeligena prunellei
• Pink-throated Brilliant – Heliodoxa gularis
• Honduran Emerald – Amazilia luciae
• Purple-backed Sunbeam – Aglaeactis aliciae
• Mexican Woodnymph – Thalurania ridgwayi
• Esmeraldas Woodstar – Chaetocercus berlepschi
• Buffy Helmetcrest – Oxypogon stuebelii
• Tolima Blossomcrown – Anthocephala berlepschi
• Tapajos Hermit – Phaethornis aethopygus
• Ecuadorian Piedtail – Phlogophilus hemileucurus
• Dry-forest Sabrewing – Campylopterus calcirupicola
20% chance of becoming extinct in the next 10 years (endangered list):
COMMON NAMES – SPANISH NAME
• Royal Sunangel – Heliangelus regalis
• Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird – Amazilia lilliae
• Scissor-tailed Hummingbird – Hylonympha macrocerca
• Glow-throated Hummingbird – Selasphorus ardens
• Mangrove Hummingbird – Amazilia boucardi
• Marvelous Spatuletail – Loddigesia mirabilis
• Oaxaca Hummingbird – Eupherusa cyanophrys
• Colorful Puffleg – Eriocnemis mirabilis
• Black-breasted Puffleg – Eriocnemis nigrivestis
• Perija Metaltail – Metallura iracunda
• Grey-bellied Comet – Taphrolesbia griseiventris
• Perija Starfrontlet -Coeligena consita
• Venezuelan Sylph – Aglaiocercus berlepschi
• Glittering Starfrontlet – Coeligena orina
• Black-backed Thornbill – Ramphomicron dorsale
• Long-tailed Woodnymph – Thalurania watertonii
50% chance of becoming extinct in the next 10 years (critically endangered):
COMMON NAMES – SPANISH NAME
• Chilean Woodstar – Eulidia yarrellii
• Turquoise-throated Puffleg – Eriocnemis godini
• Santa Marta Sabrewing – Campylopterus phainopeplus
• Short-crested Coquette – Lophornis brachylophus
• Juan Fernandez Firecrown – Sephanoides fernandensis
• Guanacaste Hummingbird – Amazilia alfaroana
• Gorgeted Puffleg – Eriocnemis isabellae
• Blue-bearded Helmetcrest – Oxypogon cyanolaemus
• Blue-throated Hillstar – Oreotrochilus cyanolaemus
There are also two extinct species of hummingbirds: The Caribbean Emerald (Chlorostilbon elegans) and the Brace’s Emerald (Chlorostilbon bracei)
Newly discovered species that are Endangered
Gorgeted Puffleg (Eriocnemis isabellae)
A beautiful newly discovered hummingbird with beautiful green and purple feathers has only 1200 hectares of habitat left in Colombia. Most of its habitat was shrunk because of cocoa planting.
The Blue-throated Hillstar Hummingbird
This hummer has an iridescent blue throat and prefers to live in the Andes’ high altitudes and cold weather. Because of that, they spend most of their time in torpor, a type of hibernation that keeps them alive in those weather conditions.
Ornithological Advances documented in a new study this critically endangered species that seems to have 750 left of its kind in a significantly smaller habitat.
Even if this species was discovered not long ago, it is already considered endangered.
Why are hummingbirds important?
Hummers have an essential role in pollination. It's hard to find a more efficient pollinator than the hummingbird. Because they have a fast metabolism, they need to drink a lot of nectar from many flowers - usually in the thousands. Thus, they help flowers reproduce and continue their cycle.
If hummingbirds were extinct, other species would be at risk of extinction as well. Whenever we think about a species disappearing, we also have to know that so many other species will go together; This is called coextinction, a common phenomenon.
In a nutshell: it’s essential to put effort even when it comes to saving just one species. Together with them, we will be able to save so many others.
How can we help hummingbirds?
Hummingbirds consume an insane amount of calories, not to mention their lightning-fast metabolism and small bodies. As a result, they have to supplement that loss with enough food. And to eat enough, hummers need to find food sources.
Since their food sources are diminishing, it helps hummers if people keep putting hummingbird feeders in their garden, making sugar water, and planting hummingbird vines. Any action helps – little steps!
But other than the food they eat, it will do us well to focus on the big picture. We, too, can stop letting hummers become endangered.
If their territory keeps diminishing, they may be in grave danger. And not just them.
This habitat loss happens because a lot of their environment is converted for agricultural uses, thus further shrinking it. Other than that, the effects of climate change on food supply are also well-known.
Some conservation efforts aim to improve the habitat of these small birds.
You can constantly check the IUCN Red List website to keep yourself posted on extinct species.
To support the local population of Hummingbirds in your area:
- Try planting a garden with flowers from which these birds use to drink nectar.
- Provide a supplemental food source in the winter months.
- Reduce your carbon footprint by becoming self-sufficient (growing your own food and the like).