Hummingbird Male VS Female: What Are The Differences?

Are you an avid bird watcher struggling to decipher between male and female hummingbirds? This task can indeed be tricky, given that hummingbirds are among the most diminutive birds in the world.

Our insightful blog will simplify this for you by highlighting key differences in physical traits, sounds, and behaviors of these enchanting creatures. Stay tuned – unraveling the mystique of male vs female hummingbirds is about to get a lot more fascinating!

Identifying Hummingbirds: Male vs. Female

When it comes to identifying hummingbirds, there are key differences between males and females that make them easily distinguishable.

Consideration of Colors

In the hummingbird world, vibrant colors play a crucial role. Males often display bright, iridescent feathers that they use for attracting mates and showing their vitality. Particularly noticeable are their glittering crown feathers and colorful gorget on their throat.

You’ll see them flipping these flashy features in sunlight to create a mesmerizing flashing effect that draws females’ attention during breeding season. On the other hand, female hummingbirds sport less vibrant attire with gray-brown dotted white throats and relatively duller back and wing feathers.

This difference in color is an important factor in distinguishing between male and female hummingbirds.

Size Differences

Female hummingbirds generally display a somewhat larger size than their male counterparts. This difference isn’t dramatic, but noticeable to an avid bird-watcher or someone experienced in identifying bird populations.

The slight upper hand in size gives female hummingbirds certain advantages such as endurance and vitality during long migrations.

In addition to this, another distinct disparity lies within the beaks of these interesting birds. Adult female hummingbirds often have longer bills compared to adult male ones. These elongated pecks come handy for reaching deep inside flowers to extract nectar, making them efficient pollinators too!

Distinct Sounds

Male hummingbirds are known for their high-pitched, buzzing sounds. These distinct vocalizations serve as a form of communication and territorial defense. During the breeding season, they intensify these noises to attract and court female hummingbirds.

Even though each species of hummingbird possess unique vocalizations, male sounds are generally more frequent and noticeable compared to those produced by females. Although female hummingbirds also utilize sound to communicate, their calls are often less distinct than males’.

It’s truly fascinating how these tiny creatures use such powerful sounds in their daily life!

Behavior Differences Between Male and Female Hummingbirds

Male hummingbirds are more territorial and aggressive compared to females, often engaging in aerial displays and chasing away other males from their territory. They also exhibit courtship behavior during mating season, performing elaborate displays to attract females.

On the other hand, female hummingbirds focus more on building nests and caring for their young, displaying a nurturing behavior distinct from males.

Territory Behavior

Male hummingbirds are known for their territorial behavior. They spend much of their time perched on tall trees or shrubs, keeping a close eye on their feeding areas and defending them from other males.

This territorial behavior is especially prominent during the breeding season when male hummingbirds become more aggressive towards each other. By establishing and protecting their territory, male hummingbirds can ensure they have access to ample food resources and increase their chances of attracting a mate.


Male hummingbirds are known for their aggressiveness, especially towards other males. During the breeding season, they become even more territorial and will fiercely defend their feeding areas and perching spots.

They engage in intense aerial battles, displaying their vibrant colors and making sharp calls to assert dominance. The aggression is mainly directed towards rival males, as they compete for limited resources and opportunities to attract females.

This aggressive behavior is an essential part of establishing and maintaining a male hummingbird’s territory during the breeding season.

Mating Behavior

Male hummingbirds engage in elaborate courtship displays to attract females. They perform aerial acrobatics, flying in loops and figure-eights, while producing a distinct humming sound with their wings.

During these displays, the males show off their vibrant feathers by flipping their gorget feathers in the sunlight to create shimmering flashes of color. The more skilled and healthy a male is at performing these displays, the more likely he is to attract a mate.

Mating behavior among hummingbirds can be competitive, with males fiercely defending their territory and displaying aggression towards other males during the breeding season.

Nest Building Behavior

Female hummingbirds are responsible for building nests and raising their young. They take on the task of finding suitable nesting materials, such as soft plant fibers, moss, and spider silk, to construct their tiny nests.

These nests are often well hidden in trees or shrubs, providing protection from predators. The female hummingbird works diligently to create a secure and comfortable environment for her eggs and nestlings.

She meticulously weaves these materials together to form a small cup-shaped structure that is camouflaged with lichen or pieces of bark. Once the nest is complete, she lays her eggs inside and incubates them until they hatch.

Specific Hummingbird Species: Male vs Female

Each species of hummingbird has its own unique characteristics that distinguish the males from the females.

Anna’s Hummingbird

Adult male Anna’s Hummingbirds are known for their vibrant and eye-catching features. They have colorful gorget feathers on their throat that can shine in the sunlight, creating a dazzling display to attract females.

In addition to the gorget feathers, adult males also have glittering crown feathers on their head. These distinctive traits make them easily distinguishable from other hummingbird species.

On the other hand, female Anna’s Hummingbirds have more subdued colors. They have white throats with gray-brown dots and less vibrant back and wing feathers. Females tend to be slightly larger than males and have longer bills, which helps them gather nectar from deep flowers.

Young male Anna’s Hummingbirds undergo a gradual transformation as they mature. About a month after leaving the nest, young males start developing hints of their adult gorgets. These hints gradually become more pronounced until they eventually reach full maturity with vibrant colors like the adult males.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Male Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds have vibrant feathers on their throat and head. Their gorget feathers are colorful and shimmer in the sunlight, while their crown feathers glitter. These showy features help them attract potential mates during the breeding season.

On the other hand, female Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds lack bright gorgets and instead have white throats with gray-brown dots. They also tend to be slightly larger in size compared to the males.

Black-Chinned Hummingbird

The Black-Chinned Hummingbird is a small bird with distinct features. Adult males have a black throat with a thin iridescent purple base, which catches the light and adds to their allure.

In contrast, adult females have a pale throat and white-tipped tail feathers. These differences in coloration help identify the male and female Black-Chinned Hummingbirds. Male hummingbirds often have showier feathers to attract potential mates, and they can even flip their gorget feathers in the sun to catch the female’s attention.

Female Black-Chinned Hummingbirds tend to be slightly larger than males, adding another distinguishing factor between the sexes of this fascinating species.


In conclusion, male and female hummingbirds have distinct differences in their appearance and behavior. Male hummingbirds display showier feathers to attract mates, while females tend to be slightly larger with longer bills.

Males spend their time defending territories and can be aggressive towards other males, while females take on the responsibility of raising young. Understanding these differences helps us appreciate the unique qualities of both male and female hummingbirds.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.