When Should You Take Down Hummingbird Feeders in Texas?

texas hummingbird ruby-throated hummingbird

Most hummingbirds that visit Texas are migratory. They spend winters in Mexico but pass along the state’s borders to reach their wintering or breeding grounds. You may start seeing some hummingbirds around mid-March, and they might stay up until November. If you’re in the southern part of the state, feel free to leave the feeders year-round.

Most Common Hummingbirds in Texas

There are no state regulars, but the following kinds of hummingbirds have been reported as year-round visitors:

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (pictured above)
  • Black-chinned Hummingbirds
  • Buff-bellied Hummingbirds
  • Rufous Hummingbirds

Seasonal Hummingbird Visitors in Texas

To sum up, there are several seasonal kinds in Texas:

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
  • Black-chinned Hummingbirds
  • Buff-bellied Hummingbirds
  • Rufous Hummingbirds
  • Broad-tailed Hummingbirds
  • Anna’s Hummingbirds
  • Lucifer Hummingbirds
  • Calliope Hummingbirds
  • Rivoli’s Hummingbirds
  • Blue-throated Mountain-gems

Least Common Hummingbirds in Texas

Finally, the rare kinds of hummingbirds in Texas are:

  • Allen’s Hummingbird
  • Broad-billed Hummingbird
  • Mexican Violetear
  • Violet-crowned Hummingbird
  • White-eared Hummingbird
  • Costa’s Hummingbird
  • Green-breasted Mango

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-throated hummingbirds are present in Texas during migration. When spring comes, you may notice males arriving before females, usually around February. They’ll gather around the Gulf Coast in September and then move away to spend the winter further south.

Adult male Ruby-throated hummingbirds have green backs and crowns with whitish underparts. Males also have a shiny red throat. Adult females are similar in color but don’t have red gorgets.

This is the only species of hummingbirds reported with breeding grounds in eastern parts of North America. Their migration route includes Central America; some may move around the Gulf of Mexico and Texas.

Their favorite foods are flower nectars and small insects they catch from spider webs. Males tend to be aggressive and defend their feeders and breeding territory.

Black-chinned hummingbird
Black-chinned hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

This hummingbird breeds in Texas; some may stay along the Gulf Coast year-round. Adult males have dark metallic green backs and gray-white underparts, with black throats and purple bases. Females have white throats and tips on their tail feathers.

Black-chinned hummingbirds like canyons, rivers, and shady oaks. They spend winters in Mexico.

Buff Bellied hummingbird
Buff Bellied hummingbird

Buff-bellied Hummingbird

The Buff-bellied hummingbird is average in size, up to 4.3 inches in length. Their breeding grounds involve the Yucatan peninsula and southern Texas. They’ll also nest in the state from spring (April) to fall (August) and produce two broods annually.

Their winter migration route includes the Gulf Coast to Louisiana and Florida. Buff-bellied hummingbirds feed off of flower nectars, feeders, and small insects.

Rufous hummingbird
Rufous hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous hummingbirds are seen in Texas around fall migration. Still, some will spend the winter on the Gulf Coast. During summer, they’re in Alaska and Canada.

Rufous hummingbirds are all around, with a white part on their chest. Adult males have iridescent red throats. Females have greenish-brown backs and orange-colored flanks.

This kind of hummingbird may travel up to 4,000 miles during migration. Their breeding grounds are in some parts of Alaska, and they migrate to Mexico and the Gulf Coast to spend winter.

Rufus is highly aggressive towards intruders and may chase off larger hummingbirds.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed hummingbirds breed in west Texas, and you might see them during migration to the west and the north of the state. They live in high elevations. Adult males have iridescent green backs, brown wings, and white chests with rose throats. Adult females have green spots instead of gorgets.

This kind also spends winters in Mexico. Similar to other hummingbirds, they can slow down their metabolism and consequently their heartrate and enter torpor to save energy.

Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbirds can be spotted in Texas during the winter season. Adult males have reddish-pink throats, while females come with gray throats and some red spotting. Their wingspan is 4.7 inches.

This hummingbird species is a common one along the Pacific Coast. You may notice they’re around by the noise they make with their tail feathers during dives. They like large gardens with colorful flowers and feeders.

Lucifer Hummingbird

This type of hummingbird mates around Texas and some parts of Mexico, El Paso, the Davis Mountains, and Big Bend National Park. They have curved beaks, greenbacks, forked tails, and purple gorgets, while females lack the purple color. This kind is often found in deserts and canyons, so they’re quite rare to spot.

Calliope Hummingbird

If you’re into birdwatching, you might spot Calliope hummingbirds in all months except June; as the smallest hummingbird in the US, it flies about 5,000 miles from Mexico to Canada and back.

Adult males have magenta gorgets, greenbacks and undersides, and dark tails. Adult females lack such colorful throats and have pinkish-white underparts.

They’ll fly towards the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Coast during spring migration. Calliope breeds in some areas of California, Colorado, and Canada.

Allen’s Hummingbird

You may spot Allen’s hummingbirds in Texas during migration in January and February. They’re similar-looking to Rufous hummingbirds, the only difference being their narrow outer tail feathers. Adult males have red-orange gorgets, white bellies, eye patches, and tails. Both genders come with straight beaks and greenish backs.

Rivoli’s Hummingbird

Rivoli’s, or Magnificent Hummingbirds, are a rare sight in Texas. Still, some reports show they’ve been around Big Bend National Park and the Davis Mountains.

With up to 5.5 inches in length, these hummingbirds are larger than others. Adult males have iridescent emerald green gorgets, blue crowns, and dark backs and sides. Adult females have gray chests and dark wings and backs.

They’re regulars in New Mexico and Central America.

Blue-throated Mountain-gem

Blue-throated hummingbirds are considered rare but can still be seen around the Chisos Mountains in Texas during spring and summer. They’re the largest hummingbirds nesting in the US.

Adult males come with blue throats, bronzy-green on the back, and gray underparts. Adult females lack the colors on their throats. They are usual residents of Mexico, but some may travel short distances towards parts of Arizona and Texas.

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Broad-billed hummingbirds are considered rare in Texas. They’re brightly colored, with rich metallic green and blue throats. Adult females come with pale bellies.

Both genders have red bills with black tips. The Mexican border is their usual habitat, but some birds may migrate to the mountain canyons in Arizona and New Mexico.

Mexican Violetear (Green Violet-ear)

The breeding grounds of Mexican Violetear are around Mexico, Central America, and Nicaragua. Non-breeding Violetears tend to fly into the US and reach southern Texas. Adult males have metallic green backs with violet patches on their heads and breasts. Their tails are iridescent blue, and they’re medium-sized.

Violet-crowned Hummingbird

Violet-crowned hummingbirds are considered rare, but some have spotted them in El Paso, Texas. Their name suggests that they have violet crowns, dark-olive backs, and white underparts. They have reddish beaks with white tips.

Adult females have less color than males, with bluish tails and a dark band across the tail at its end. Their range includes southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and southwestern Mexico.

Violet-crowned hummingbirds will reach the US in February/March. They will nest in Arizona and New Mexico from April to September. Some may stay around feeders during winter.

White-eared Hummingbird

White-eared hummingbirds are considered a rare species in western Texas. Still, some can be spotted around the Guadalupe mountains and the Big Bend during summer.

You’ll recognize them by a white stripe that starts close to their eyes and ends on their necks. They have reddish beaks with white tips, and males have metallic turquoise green gorgets with a violet patch on their faces.

Their nesting grounds involve northern and central Mexico. This kind can also be seen in Arizona from March to September.

Costa’s Hummingbird

Costa’s hummingbirds can be spotted around southern Texas in Big Bend National Park and along the Mexican border. Adult males have green backs, bellies, and sides, with purple throat sections. Adult females lack the color and have white bellies.

This species of hummingbird is regular around Baja California, southern and southwestern California, and Arizona. They’ll migrate over the Pacific Coast of Mexico. The breeding range involves Nevada and Utah, and California.

Green-breasted Mango

The green-breasted mango hummingbird is a rare sighting in Texas. Still, there were some reported sightings on the southeastern border with Mexico. This kind of hummingbird is often found along Central America and the coasts of Mexico. Some may be seen around northern South America.

The Green-breasted Mango comes with glossy greenbacks. Adult males have black throats with a blue border on the chest. Adult females have white underparts with a black line in the middle and a few blue-green feathers.

What Can You Do to Help Hummingbirds in Texas?

If you want to host hummingbirds in your yard, you can start by providing additional food sources in the nectar feeders. Use the standard mix of 1 part sugar and four parts water to create the nectar for hummingbirds.

Additionally, you can plant honeysuckle and other native flowers so they have something to return to every year. Include some fountains or other water features in your garden. A few bird baths will give the hummingbirds a place to rest and refresh during hot summers.

Finally, avoid the use of pesticides in your garden. This will ensure that small insects aren’t toxic to hummingbirds. Some of these species are highly aggressive, so consider purchasing multiple feeders and scattering them around your yard to help every hummingbird find their own territory.

What Is the Most Common Hummingbird in Texas?

There are no classified regular resident hummingbirds in Texas. Most species of hummingbirds are passing during their migration. You can expect to see the following seasonal visitors right before the winter season:

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
  • Black-chinned Hummingbirds
  • Buff-bellied Hummingbirds
  • Rufous Hummingbirds

Final Word

Texas is the home to four – somewhat regular hummingbirds, while the other 13 spend just some months in the state. Still, you’ll want to keep the feeders out just in case.

If you’re a passionate bird watcher, you’ll be happy to know that some kinds can be seen around the mountains of West Texas, forested areas of East and South Texas, high plains of North Texas, and the Panhandle. You can enrich your garden with additional feeders, native plants, and bird baths to enjoy the company and dance of hummingbirds.


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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