Hummingbirds in Georgia: Identification and Characteristics

black-chinned hummingbirds in georgia
In Georgia, the Ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common. Additionally, this is the only kind that nests within the state. So, you might see them year-round. Overall, Georgia is home to 12 types of hummingbirds—but some were only noticed once in the last decade or two.

Keep reading to learn more about hummingbirds in Georgia and how to recognize the most common ones.

Why Are There No Hummingbirds in Georgia?

There’s no reason to worry if you’ve seen fewer hummingbirds around your hummingbird feeder during the last few years. The hummingbirds are there; you just might miss them. Luckily, experienced birdwatchers say that you can easily count how many hummingbirds are in your yard by multiplying the ones you can count by six.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the most common kind you might see year-round since it also nests in this state. Some hummingbirds may also stop visiting during hot summers, while others will remain regardless of the humidity and heat.

What Is the Season for Hummingbirds in Georgia?

Georgians tend to take their bird feeders down when the fall comes, believing that keeping another food source around would stop the hummingbirds from migrating. However, these tiny birds migrate based on the day length, not the food supply.

This is why Georgians who leave their feeders out during winter host many wintering hummingbirds. One of the most common wintering hummingbirds is the Rufous hummingbird. It’s spotted around Georgia and the rest of the Southeast.

This kind has the longest migration compared to all other North American hummingbirds. Its breeding ranges go from the Pacific Northwest across southern Alaska to its primary wintering grounds in south-central Mexico.

Calliope hummingbird is another one of the wintering hummingbirds. It was first seen in the Peach State during the winter of 1998–1999. Its migration route involves the Rocky Mountains and southwestern Mexico. Sometimes they might appear around the Gulf Coast in August and September.

Georgia’s Second Hummingbird Season

Georgia’s traditional hummingbird season lasts from March to October. However, the second season—the winter hummingbird season, extends from November to mid-March. Ruby-throated and Rufous hummingbirds are the most common guests during this time.

Allen's hummingbirds in georgia
Allen’s Hummingbird

How Many Types of Hummingbirds Are in Georgia?

A total of 12 species of hummingbirds are all around Georgia, mostly seen during the winter. However, these are young birds or females.

Additionally, many can’t be identified unless captured, so experts know very little about where they migrate and what their favorite habitats in Georgia and the Southeast are.

If you live in Georgia, you’ll probably see the following hummingbirds:

  • Ruby-throated
  • Rufous
  • Allen’s
  • Broad-tailed
  • Calliope
  • Black-chinned
  • Anna’s, etc

1. Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is one of the most common hummingbirds during summer but a rare sight after the end of October. Its size is around 3 inches.

The adult male Ruby-throated hummingbird has a red throat (gorget) that might appear black in poor light. Males also have an iridescent green back, white underparts, and grayish-green sides.

Adult female ruby-throated has a metallic green back, white throat, and gray-brown sides. This is the only hummingbird known to mate east of the Mississippi River.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds also breed around the eastern US and go as far as east Texas, Oklahoma, and Minnesota. Their winter range includes South Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. These are also the only species of hummingbird that nest in Georgia.

2. Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus Rufus) is one of the most common wintering hummingbirds in the state. It’s a bit larger than a Ruby-throated hummingbird.

Adult males have reddish-brown back, with slightly darker wings and orange-red gorget. Adult females have green backs, brownish sides, and red flecks on their throats. Females also have brownish tails.

Rufous’ breeding range is all around Southern Alaska, Washington, Oregon, western Montana, and northern Idaho. During the winter, Rufous visits most of Mexico.

3. Allen’s Hummingbird

Allen’s hummingbird is one of the rare kinds, with less than a dozen recorded in Georgia. Allen’s hummingbird is also slightly larger than Ruby-throated one.

Adult males have green backs, orange-red gorgets, and brownish sides. Adult females have a reddish-brown color of the tail, green backs, and reddish-brown flanks.

Still, you might have a hard time separating males from females. You’ll most likely see them around the following plants:

  • Honeysuckle
  • Bush-monkeyflower
  • Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Their breeding range involves Coastal California, and they’re in Mexico during the winter.

4. Broad-tailed Hummingbird

This hummingbird is another rare winter visitor with a size of about 4 inches. Adult males look like Ruby-throated males, and adult females have green backs, streaked throats, white underparts, and brownish sides.

The breeding range of Broad-tailed hummingbirds is around East-central California, Nevada, north to Montana, and Wyoming to west Texas, and Mexico. During winter, they can be seen in Central Mexico.

5. Calliope Hummingbird

This is the smallest bird in northern North America. Birdwatchers report about one or two each winter, usually in Atlanta. Adult males are the only hummingbirds in the state with purple gorget feathers that spread to streaks on their white bellies.

Adult females have metallic bronze-greenish backs with cinnamon sides and flanks. Their throats are neutral in color, with delicate and pale orange patterns on their breasts.

Calliopes will breed around the Mountains of central British Columbia and go to southwestern Alberta and northern Baja California. During winter, they’re in Mexico.

Calliope hummingbirds in Georgia
Calliope Hummingbird

6. Green-breasted Mango Hummingbird

This kind of hummingbird is considered accidental in Georgia. Based on the latest records, the last time they were spotted was in Dublin in 2008. Green-breasted Mango comes from tropical America, with the primary habitat being deciduous forests, gardens, and open or lightly wooded areas. Their size ranges from 4.3 to 4.7 inches.

If you’re lucky, you’ll recognize it by the glossy green back. Adult males also have black throats bordered with blue on the chest. Adult females are white underneath and have a black stripe in the middle, with some blue-green metallic feathers.

They’re also found around the coasts of Mexico and Central America. There have only been a few reported around Texas on the southeastern border with Mexico.

7. Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna’s hummingbird has only been reported three times in this state. Its size is 4 inches. Adult males have a deep rose-red head with grayish-green underparts, and adult females have tiny red feathers on their throats and grayish-green underparts.

Their breeding range includes Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona. During winter, they can be seen around the Pacific coast area from Washington to northwest Mexico and Arizona.

8. Black-chinned Hummingbird

There are less than five reports on Black-chinned hummingbirds each winter. They’re a bit larger than Ruby-throated hummingbirds. Both adult males and females also look like Ruby-throated adults.

Their breeding range spans from southwestern British Columbia southward towards western Mexico and as far east as Texas. They spend the winter in Mexico.

9. Broad-billed Hummingbird

So far, only one adult male was reported during winter in 2001-2002. This hummingbird is around 4 inches. Adult males have brilliant emerald green feathers around their breasts, sides, bellies, and backs.

Their gorgets are bluish-green. Adult females lack the colors, have pale throats, and have a bit of bronze-green on their undersides.

This Mexican bird usually visits only southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. It’s also a common visitor in northwestern Mexico, where they also spend the winter.

10. Buff-bellied Hummingbird

This is another accidental species in Georgia. Buff-bellied hummingbirds were last spotted on St. Simon’s Island in 2022. Its size is about 3.9 to 4.3 inches. Adult males have a reddish bill with a dark tip, while adult females have a darker bill.

This type of hummingbird will breed around southern Texas and the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico through to Central America. They’ll visit the Gulf Coast, Louisiana, and Florida during winter. Buff-bellied hummingbird has about two broods annually.

11. Green Violet-ear

The only verified sighting of this hummingbird was in Thomasville in July 2001. Its size is a bit over 4 inches. Both male and female adults have dark colors, moderately down-curved bills, and green all around their bodies. Males also have a violet-green breast spot and ear patch.

So far, there are no breeding records in the US. Instead, this hummingbird breeds in Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia. During winter, it can be seen in the same regions.

12. Rivoli’s Hummingbird

This is another extremely rare kind of hummingbirds in Georgia. They were last reported in Barrow in 1993. Their usual habitat involves El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and some parts of the US—southern Arizona and southwestern Texas.

Their size is around 4.3 to 5.5 inches, and they’re quite large compared with other hummingbirds. They’re also known for their iridescent purple crown and emerald green throats in adult males.

Adult females have green backs and gray underparts. Rivoli’s hummingbirds like mountain regions and pine-oak forests but will often visit feeders within their territory.

Most Common Kinds of Hummingbirds in Georgia

Georgia is in fact home to a total of 12 hummingbird species. However, the most common kinds are:

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
  • Black-chinned Hummingbirds and
  • Rufous Hummingbirds

Least Common Kinds of Hummingbirds in Georgia

The least common kinds are as follows:

  • Rivoli’s Hummingbird
  • Broad-tailed Hummingbird
  • Green-breasted Mango
  • Green Violet-ear
Green violet-ear hummingbirds in Georgia
Green Violet-ear Hummingbirds

How to Keep the Hummingbirds Around?

If you live in Georgia and plan to help the hummingbirds find additional food sources, you can plant the following exotic and native plants:

  • Zinnia
  • Indian Pink
  • Pentstemon
  • Petunia
  • Hollyhock
  • Cleome
  • Red-Hot Poker
  • Delphinium
  • Geranium
  • Gladiolus Phlox
  • Four-O’clock
  • Coral-Bells
  • Cardinal Flower

Georgian hummingbirds also like the following shrubs:

  • Buckeye
  • Powderpuff
  • Mexican Cigar
  • Shrimp Plant
  • Hibiscus
  • Abelia
  • Weigela
  • Wild Azalea

Additionally, you can post hummingbird feeders around your yard to help the birds find an additional food source. Remember to warm the feeders up during the winter months.

Hummingbirds in Georgia Overview

Per Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources, there are 12 registered species of hummingbirds in this state. The most common one is the Ruby-throated hummingbird, also seen during winter.

Some of the least common types are Rivoli’s (Magnificent), Broad-tailed, Green-breasted Mango, and Green Violet-ear hummingbirds. If you want to host more hummingbirds, consider adding some flowering plants to your garden and a feeder to help them find food during colder days.


Mileva has a passion for writing and she loves to share her thoughts in all forms. Observing wildlife — birds and other untamed animals soothes her soul. This is why you’ll often find her staring at the closest forest, looking for inspiration for her next article.

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