Hummingbirds in Kansas: Identification And Characteristics

hummingbirds in kansas
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the most common kinds of hummingbirds in Kansas. Still, you might see about 9 other different species, although some are very rare.

If you live in Kansas, you’ll get the chance to see several kinds of hummingbirds. So far, there have been a total of 10 reported species of hummingbirds in Kansas, with only Ruby-throated being recognized as a state regular and one vagrant kind.

Other species are believed to be accidental, and one is near-threatened. Keep reading to learn more about hummingbird migration around this state.

What Month Do the Hummingbirds Appear in Kansas?

If you live in this state, you’ll likely see hummingbirds from mid-April to October. These months are ideal for putting your feeders out and enjoying these sweet birds’ company.

When Should I Put Out Hummingbird Feeders in Kansas?

Since the hummingbird season in Kansas lasts from mid-April, start placing feeders around at the beginning of the month. Look around for hummingbirds until late November. If you don’t see any for two weeks in a row, you can take the feeders down.

1. Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Archilochus colubris, known as Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, are the most common kinds of hummingbirds that visit Kansas. According to the reports, they appear in 12% of birdwatchers’ checklists.

These migratory hummingbirds arrive in late March, but you’ll usually see them from May to November. They spend the breeding season in Kansas and are the only breeding hummingbirds in eastern North America.

Their size averages between 2.8 to 3.5 inches. Adult female hummingbirds have green backs and are white underneath. Adult male Ruby-throated hummingbirds are more colorful. They have green backs and crowns with gray-white undersides and an iridescent red throat.

Once Ruby-throated hummingbirds are done with the mating season, they’ll migrate to Central America and the Gulf of Mexico for winter. Some may migrate through Texas.

The Ruby-throated hummingbird usually feeds from multiple nectar sources and insects they catch from spider webs. They’re not the kind of bird that walks, so you will notice them perching on the branches.

2. Rufous Hummingbird

Selasphorus Rufus, or Rufous hummingbirds, are near-threatened species. There have been scant reported sightings in Kansas, so you’ll only catch them if you’re lucky.

Adult females are greenish-brown on their backs and have a whitish patch on their gorgets. Males are bright orange all around and have iridescent red throats. They’re the size of 2.8 to 3.5 inches.

These migrants travel 4,000 miles each way. The migration route is north around the Pacific coast in the spring and includes the Rocky Mountains in summer and fall.

During the summer, their breeding grounds involve parts of Alaska and Canada. For winter, they’ll move to Mexico and Gulf Coast.

Rufous Hummingbird in Kansas
Rufous Hummingbird

3. Anna’s Hummingbird

This type of hummingbird is considered accidental in Kansas. They were last spotted in Butler in 2021. Anna’s hummingbirds are about 3.9 inches, mostly green and gray.

Males have reddish-pink throats, and females’ throats are gray with some red spotting. Males are the only kind of hummingbird in the North American region with a red crown.

Anna’s Hummingbirds are tiny birds that are mostly green and gray. The male’s head and throat are iridescent reddish pink. The female’s throat is a grayish hue with bits of red spotting.

They’re common in the Pacific Coast region. In summers and winters, Anna’s hummingbirds visit British Columbia and Baja California and can be seen in the Western United States.

4. Black-chinned Hummingbird

There have been limited sightings in Kansas, and Black-chinned hummingbirds are considered rare or accidental. They’re about 3.5 inches in size.

Adult males have dull metallic green on their backs with gray-white underneath sections. Adult males come with a black throat with a purple base, while females have pale throats and white tips of the tail feathers.

This type of hummingbird breeds inland in western states. Once the mating season is over, they may visit higher mountain areas before moving to western Mexico, the Gulf Coast, or southern California to spend the winter.

5. Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope hummingbirds are the very smallest birds in the US. Still, they manage to fly over 5,000 miles year-round, traveling from Mexico to Canada and back.

They’re considered accidental species in Kansas, but some have seen them recently. Adults are up to 3.5 inches in size. Males have bright magenta gorgets, glossy backs, and dark tails.

Their wintering grounds are in southwestern Mexico and the Gulf Coast. Their breeding areas include:

  • California
  • Alberta
  • Colorado
  • British Columbia
  • Vancouver Island

Females don’t have such colorful throats. Still, they’re somewhat pinkish-white underneath. This kind of hummingbird migrates to the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Coast during spring migration.

6. Broad-billed Hummingbird

This is another one of the accidental hummingbird kinds in Kansas. The last one was seen in Pottawatomie in 2021. Adult kinds are up to 3.9 inches in size.

Males are rich in color, with metallic green backs and blue throats. Females have a pale underneath section. Still, both males and females come with red beaks with black tips that go wider near their heads.

Broad-billed hummingbirds are usual residents of Central Mexico and the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Some birds may move towards mountain canyons in Arizona and New Mexico for breeding in March and September.

Broad-billed Hummingbirds in Kansas
Broad-billed Hummingbird

7. Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Although there were some reported sightings in Kansas in 2020, Broad-tailed hummingbirds are considered accidental in this state. Their size is around 3.5 inches.

Adult females have iridescent green backs and brown wing tips. Adult males have iridescent pink throats.

This kind breeds between May and August. Their breeding grounds include central Idaho, southern Montana, northern Wyoming, and California.

Broad-tailed hummingbirds migrate to southern Mexico to spend the winter. Some stay around the Gulf Coast. This migration occurs from April to late August and September.

8. Costa’s Hummingbird

Costa’s hummingbirds are another accidental species in the state. They were last seen in Finney in 2012. Their length is around 3.5 inches. Costa’s hummingbirds build nests up to 7 feet above the ground and love many different plants.

Adult males have purple throat patches and a purple crown with green backs and white bellies. Females share the colors but have a bit more white on the belly.

This kind of hummingbird is common in Baja California, Southern California, and some parts of Arizona. Their migration path includes the Pacific Coast or Mexico during winter and up towards Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and California for mating.

9. Mexican Violet-ear

Mexican violet-ear was last spotted in Manhattan in 2011, so it’s rare to find in Kansas. These hummingbirds are about 3.8 to 4.7 inches long. Adult males have metallic green backs with blue sections on their sides and breasts.

Their breeding grounds include Mexico, Central America, and Nicaragua. They could also be seen in Bolivia or Venezuela, while some may visit the US, specifically southern Texas.

10. Rivoli’s Hummingbird

Rivoli’s hummingbirds are super rare, and they were last seen in Chautauqua in 2004. They’re among the larger hummingbirds, with a size of up to 5.5 inches. Rivoli’s are also quite colorful, with iridescent purple crowns and throats.

Adult males are dark green, while females are gray underneath. This kind is a usual resident of Mexico and Central America. Some migrate into southern Arizona, New Mexico, and southwestern Texas.

11. Allen’s Hummingbird

Allen’s hummingbirds are considered vagrants in Kansas. They’ll usually reside along the California coast and spend winters in Mexico. Adults are around 3.3 to 3.5 inches.

Males have orange-red gorgets with green foreheads and copper-colored backs and wings. Females have similar colors as males but miss the iridescent gorget. During migration, some may wander into Wisconsin and even get to Florida.

Most Common Hummingbird Species

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the most common hummingbird you’ll see around Kansas. They breed in the state, and males will arrive at the beginning of March. They’ll stay around until November.

Most Common Hummingbird Species

Allen’s hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) is a rare vagrant. People often confuse it with the Rufous hummingbird. Rivoli’s Hummingbird is also very rare.

Rivoli's Hummingbirds in Kansas
Rivoli’s Hummingbird

How Do You Attract Hummingbirds in Kansas?

If you live in Kansas and want more hummingbirds around your home, avoid pesticides used in landscaping. This will create a safer environment for the birds.

Proceed to set up birdbaths to attract these natural pollinators and help them refresh on their breaks. You can also arrange some native plants around, so hummingbirds have additional food sources to enjoy.

Tubular plants are an excellent choice to start with. Keep your pets inside, and soon you may notice new guests in your garden.

Hummingbirds in Kansas Overview

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the most common kinds of hummingbirds in Kansas. On the other hand, Allen’s and Rivoli’s hummingbirds are extremely rare.

Luckily, you can always keep the feeders up from March until November to provide additional food sources for these tiny birds. Keep in mind that Ruby-throated hummingbirds will also breed in your state, so you might also get to enjoy seeing their babies around.


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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