Oregon has eight types of hummingbirds, one of which is considered a regular - the Anna’s hummingbird. Other species of hummingbirds are rare or accidental visitors: Rufous, Calliope, Black-chinned, Allen’s, Costa’s, Broad-tailed, and Broad-billed.
Oregon is home to Anna’s hummingbird during most of the year, and another seven hummingbird species might visit some areas of the state. Despite the low presence of hummingbirds in this state, you should keep hummingbird feeders up and available with fresh nectar all winter. Hummingbirds are a migratory species, moving south when the weather changes and gets colder.
The Anna’s hummingbird does stick around during the winter in some cases. Although the weather conditions may not ideal for this little bird; they will survive the cold by going into torpor. These wintering hummingbirds will awaken at the first sign of warmth. Here’s what you should know about the hummingbirds in Oregon.
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Most Common Hummingbirds in Oregon
According to the latest data on hummingbird sightings, Anna’s hummingbirds are regular residents of the Pacific Northwest. Anna’s hummingbird is considered an Oregon regular — they don’t migrate and spend the winter in the state. They’re only occasionally seen in the east of Oregon. According to this study: “The first accounts of the species in the northwest were recorded in 1944 both in Oregon (Contreras 1999) and on Vancouver Island (Scarfe and Finlay 2001).” Anna’s hummingbirds have iridescent magenta throats and are mostly green and gray.
Allen’s hummers are also pretty common, but it’s considered seasonal. Other hummingbird species seen in the state of Oregon include Costa’s and Broad-billed hummingbirds, although they are considered rare and accidental visitors. If you see them around, try to report the sighting.
Anna’s hummingbird, or calypte anna, is present in Oregon year-round. They’re the size of about 4 inches. Male Anna’s hummingbirds have iridescent magenta/red throats. Females have gray throats with some reddish spotting.
Anna’s hummingbirds won’t migrate and are the most common hummingbird around the Pacific coast. Their breeding range includes Oregon, Washington, California, and Arizona. Anna’s nesting regions are in the Willamette Valley bordering the Cascade Range and along the coast of Oregon.
Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus Rufus) spends the breeding season in western areas of the state, commonly seen in Portland. They arrive in Oregon in late February and leave by October. Their dominant color is orange. Adult males come with slightly darker wings and orange gorgets. Adult females have brown sides and greenbacks with brown tail feathers and white bellies.
They will pass the north Pacific Coast during spring and migrate across the Rocky Mountains in late summer. Rufous spend winter in Mexico. Their breeding range also includes Alaska, western Montana, and Washington.
Calliope hummingbirds that spends the mating season in this state and are present from March to October and most common from mid-April to mid-August. The Calliope hummingbird is one of the smallest birds in North America. In the springtime, they migrate to the Rocky Mountains. Their breeding areas include California and Colorado. They spend the winter in Mexico.
Adult male Calliope hummers have purple gorget sections that spread to their bellies in streaks. Females have metallic green backs with cinnamon sides. Females lack purple throats but have pale orange patterns around their chests.
Black-chinned hummingbirds (Archilochus alexandri) also breed in Oregon. They’re around from May to October, but you might see some arriving in March. Adult males have iridescent blueish-purple gorgets. Adult females look like Ruby-throated adults, with greenish backs and white underparts.
Their breeding range goes southwestern British Columbia southward towards western Mexico and as far east as Texas. They also spend the winter in Mexico.
Allen’s hummingbird is not common in Oregon. However, they do breed around southwestern parts of the state from March to August. Some recent reports of sightings around Winchuck and Harris beach state park have been reported. Allen’s hummers breed in California and are in Mexico during the winter.
This kind looks similar to Rufous hummers, with males having orange gorgets, bellies, and greenish backs. Adult females also have green backs with red/brown flanks and brownish tails.
Costa’s hummingbird (Calypte costae) is rare, but some report it being seen in western Oregon, around Winchuck, South Beach, and Medford. Still, these are predominantly desert hummers. Adult males have iridescent purple gorgets and a purple crown. Females aren’t that colorful and have white bellies.
They’re regulars in Baja, California, and southern California. Their breeding grounds include Utah, Nevada, and California. Costa’s hummers migrate between the Pacific Coast.
Even though they’re rare, Broad-tailed hummers aren’t considered accidental in Oregon. Birdwatchers noted its presence around in the southeast of the state during summer. Still, their favorite areas are in high elevations.
Adult males have iridescent green backs, brown wings, and white chests. Adult females have green spots on their throats and cheeks. They spend winters in southern Mexico.
Broad-billed hummingbird are considered accidental in Oregon, last seen in Malheur in 2019. Adult males have beautiful colors, and you’ll quickly recognize them with their rich metallic green bodies and blue throats. Adult females come with pale bellies.
They’re also known for their beaks, which slightly expand near their heads. This kind is a Mexican regular, but some birds may migrate into mountain canyons in southern Arizona and New Mexico, where they breed.
Are Hummingbirds in Oregon Year Round?
One species of hummingbird stay around Oregon as year-round residents — the Anna’s hummingbird. This is one of the most distinct North American hummingbirds. Here’s one fun fact — the male Anna’s hummingbird song is highly complex, and you’ll love hearing it around your garden.
As most of the hummingbirds leave the Oregon coast, the Anna’s hummingbird will stick around for the winter season. They have special energy-saving mechanisms, and you can often see them sitting on branches, looking frozen. Don’t worry; they’re not hurt; they’re in torpor.
It’s their natural state where they save energy. You don’t have to do anything, and the hummingbird will wake up once it starts to warm up. To help these birds find additional food sources during winter, plant some native nectar-producing tubular plants, and don’t forget to clean and restock your nectar feeders.
Allen’s hummer is a common resident along the southern Oregon coast during springs and summers. However, it’s considered a rare vagrant in other parts of western Oregon. You might also notice Broad-tailed, Rufous, Calliope hummers, and other migrant kinds.
What Do Hummingbirds Eat in Oregon?
Regardless of where they are, hummingbirds usually eat similar food stuff including nectar from tubular shaped flowers, and small insects such as gnats, and flies. They’re natural pollinators, so they’ll love spending time in your garden, drinking from red columbine, sage, scarlet gilia, or other native plants. Furthermore, these backyard birds also eat small insects they catch from spider webs and enjoy tree sap and sugar water.
Where Can I See Hummingbirds in Oregon?
There are many hummingbirds breeds in Oregon, and you can expect to see different kinds in various locations:
- juniper woodlands
- along the Columbia River
- east to The Dalles
- the west Cascades
- Rogue Valley
- Blue and Wallowa Mountains,
- Malheur, South Beach, or Winchuck, etc
Additionally, you can attract these tiny birds if you put out feeders and plant additional flowers in your garden. Finally, you can join the Portland Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can learn more fun facts and enjoy Audubon Birding Days and Field Trips.
Anna’s hummingbird is the state’s regular. However, you could see some other types of hummingbirds in many areas in Oregon. Remember to keep your feeder out for Anna’s hummingbirds during winter.
If you want to learn more, contact Portland Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary. In any case, if you notice Costa’s or Broad-billed hummers, know that you’re in luck — they’re super rare in this state.