Discover the Charming World of NH Hummingbirds: A Guide for Bird Enthusiasts

nh hummingbirds

Hummingbirds, with their vibrant colors, incredible flight capabilities, and unique characteristics, are captivating creatures that have fascinated people for centuries. In this article, we will explore the world of hummingbirds and specifically focus on those found in New Hampshire.

Firstly, what exactly are hummingbirds? Hummingbirds are small, fast-flying birds known for their ability to hover in mid-air and fly backwards. They are the smallest species of birds in the world, with an average length of just 3-5 inches. These tiny creatures belong to the Trochilidae family and are found exclusively in the Americas.

What makes hummingbirds truly unique is their rapid wingbeat, which can reach up to 80 beats per second. This allows them to hover effortlessly and enables their signature hovering flight. They have a remarkable metabolism, requiring them to consume almost their entire body weight in nectar and insects each day.

Now let’s focus on the types of hummingbirds found in New Hampshire. The most common species found in the state is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, known for its bright green plumage and vibrant red throat patch in males. However, other species, such as the Rufous Hummingbird and the Calliope Hummingbird, have also been spotted in New Hampshire, although they are considered rare visitors to the state.

In terms of habitat and behavior, New Hampshire hummingbirds have specific preferences. They are attracted to areas with a mix of open spaces and trees, such as gardens, meadows, and woodlands. Regarding migration, these birds undertake impressive journeys, with most Ruby-throated Hummingbirds flying from their wintering grounds in Central America to breed in New Hampshire during the summer months.

Feeding behavior is another fascinating aspect of New Hampshire hummingbirds. They primarily feed on nectar from flowers, using their long, specialized beaks to reach deep into the blossoms. They also catch insects in mid-air to supplement their diet with protein.

If you’re interested in attracting hummingbirds to your New Hampshire backyard, there are several steps you can take. Planting flowers that produce nectar-rich blooms, providing a water source such as a birdbath or misting fountain, and setting up hummingbird feeders filled with a sugar-water solution are effective methods to attract these delightful birds.

Lastly, protecting and conserving New Hampshire hummingbirds is essential for their long-term survival. Reducing pesticide use, preserving natural habitats by planting native plants

Key takeaway:

  • NH Hummingbirds conserve their energy: Hummingbirds have a unique ability to hover and fly backwards, which allows them to conserve energy while feeding on nectar.
  • NH Hummingbirds have vibrant colors: The Ruby-throated Hummingbird, found in New Hampshire, has a beautiful red throat that adds to its distinct appearance.
  • NH Hummingbirds rely on specific habitats and resources: To attract and protect NH Hummingbirds, it is important to provide the right flowers, water sources, and hummingbird feeders in their preferred habitats.

What are Hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds are small, vibrant birds known for their remarkable flying abilities and unique characteristics. So, what are hummingbirds? They are the smallest birds in the world, with some species weighing less than a penny. Hummingbirds are famous for their ability to hover in mid-air and fly backwards, and they can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.

These birds have long, slender beaks that are perfectly adapted for reaching nectar from flowers. This makes them important pollinators for many plant species. Hummingbirds also have a high metabolism and need to consume large amounts of nectar each day to fuel their energy. They are known for their vibrant feathers, with colors ranging from vivid greens and blues to fiery reds and oranges.

Hummingbirds are found in the Americas, from Alaska to Argentina. In the United States, they can be found in various regions, including New Hampshire. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the most common species found in New Hampshire, but other species such as the Rufous Hummingbird and the Black-chinned Hummingbird have also been spotted.

These birds are a delight to observe and attract to your garden. By providing an ample supply of nectar-rich flowers and setting up hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water, you can create a hummingbird-friendly habitat and enjoy the beauty of these amazing creatures. To protect and conserve hummingbirds, it is essential to reduce pesticide use, preserve natural habitats, and participate in citizen science projects that monitor and study these birds.

Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures with unique characteristics and enchanting beauty. By understanding their behavior and creating suitable habitats, we can appreciate and conserve these tiny wonders of nature.

Why are Hummingbirds Unique?

Hummingbirds: Why are They Unique?

Hummingbirds are unique creatures with several fascinating characteristics that set them apart from other birds. Their small size is one of the most remarkable aspects that make them stand out. Weighing only a few grams and measuring between 3 to 5 inches in length, hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world.

Another exceptional trait that sets hummingbirds apart is their ability to hover in mid-air. Unlike other birds that must glide or flap their wings constantly, hummingbirds have the remarkable ability to suspend themselves in the air by flapping their wings rapidly, up to 80 times per second.

In addition, hummingbirds possess vibrant and iridescent plumage, which distinguishes them from other bird species. These bright colors are a result of the diffraction and reflection of light by their feathers. The unique colors and patterns help attract mates and serve as a form of communication and identification.

Furthermore, hummingbirds have an incredibly high metabolism. They consume up to half of their body weight in nectar each day to sustain their energy levels. This rapid metabolism allows them to fly at incredible speeds, with some species reaching up to 50 miles per hour during their migratory journeys.

Hummingbirds also have a specialized bill and long tongue that allow them to feed on nectar from flowers. This unique adaptation enables them to extract nectar quickly and efficiently, making them crucial pollinators for many plant species.

True story: I once witnessed a hummingbird building its nest in my backyard. It was a remarkable sight to see such a tiny bird construct a delicate and intricate structure using materials like spider silk and plant down. The female hummingbird diligently worked on her nest, showing incredible attention to detail as she weaved various materials together. Witnessing this unique behavior firsthand made me appreciate the extraordinary nature of hummingbirds even more.

Types of Hummingbirds Found in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is home to a variety of mesmerizing hummingbird species, each with its own unique charm. Get ready to dive into the vibrant world of these tiny feathered creatures as we explore the different types of hummingbirds found in the Granite State. From the dazzling Ruby-throated Hummingbird to the lesser-known species that grace New Hampshire’s landscapes, let’s uncover the wonders and secrets of these delightful birds in our very own backyard.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is a unique and fascinating species found in New Hampshire. This hummingbird is known for its vibrant colors and distinct features.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is a small bird that measures approximately 3.5 inches long. The male has a brilliant iridescent red throat, which gives it its name. The female, on the other hand, has a duller coloration.

These hummingbirds are known for their incredible flying abilities. They can hover in mid-air and fly backwards, which is a remarkable feat. They have a rapid wingbeat of about 53 beats per second, allowing them to move swiftly and gracefully.

During breeding season, male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds perform elaborate courtship flights to attract females. They create mesmerizing aerial displays, including dives, loops, and zigzags.

In terms of diet, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds primarily feed on nectar from flowers. They use their long, extendable tongues to lap up the nectar. They also consume insects and spiders for additional protein.

These hummingbirds are migratory, and they travel long distances to reach their breeding grounds in New Hampshire. They make an incredible journey across the Gulf of Mexico, covering approximately 500 miles nonstop.

To attract Ruby-throated Hummingbirds to your garden, it is essential to provide a variety of nectar-rich flowers, such as trumpet vine, red bee balm, and cardinal flower. Setting up hummingbird feeders filled with a sugar-water solution can supplement their diet.

By understanding the unique characteristics and behaviors of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, you can appreciate and create an inviting environment for these beautiful birds in your own backyard.

Other Species of Hummingbirds Found in NH

Other Species of Hummingbirds Found in NH

Some other species of hummingbirds found in New Hampshire include:

1. Black-chinned Hummingbird: This species is known for its metallic green plumage and black chin. They can be found in New Hampshire during their migration, with sightings reported in coastal areas.

2. Rufous Hummingbird: Rufous hummingbirds are known for their fiery orange plumage and are commonly found in western parts of North America. They occasionally migrate to New Hampshire during the fall season.

3. Anna’s Hummingbird: This species has a shimmering green body and a vibrant pink-red head. While primarily found on the West Coast, Anna’s hummingbirds have been known to occasionally appear in New Hampshire during their migration.

4. Calliope Hummingbird: One of the smallest hummingbird species, the Calliope hummingbird features a striking pink throat with streaks of green on its body. While rare in New Hampshire, they have been spotted during their migration.

5. Allen’s Hummingbird: These hummingbirds have a vibrant orange-red throat and green body. While they primarily inhabit the West Coast, Allen’s hummingbirds have been observed in New Hampshire during their migration.

6. Broad-tailed Hummingbird: This species is known for its buzzing sound during flight. Their plumage varies, but males typically have a bright pink throat. While more commonly found in western regions, they occasionally make appearances in New Hampshire.

It’s important to note that while these species have been spotted in New Hampshire, they are not native to the area and are considered rare sightings.

Habitat and Behavior

NH hummingbirds are fascinating creatures, known for their unique habitat preferences, migratory patterns, and feeding behavior. In this section, we’ll explore the captivating world of these tiny birds, uncovering their preferred habitats, their migratory journeys, and their intriguing feeding habits. Prepare to be amazed as we delve into the diverse and enchanting lives of NH hummingbirds.

Habitat Preferences of NH Hummingbirds

The habitat preferences of NH hummingbirds, which include Woodlands, Gardens and Parks, Open Spaces, Water Sources, and Elevation, can be summarized in the following table:

Habitat Feature Description
Woodlands Hummingbirds in New Hampshire are commonly found in wooded areas, where there are plenty of trees and vegetation for cover and nesting.
Gardens and Parks Hummingbirds are also attracted to gardens and parks with a variety of flowering plants that provide nectar as a food source.
Open Spaces Hummingbirds prefer open spaces such as meadows and fields where they can easily spot flowers and insects for feeding.
Water Sources Hummingbirds are attracted to areas with water sources such as ponds, streams, and birdbaths, where they can drink and bathe.
Elevation Hummingbirds in New Hampshire can be found at varying elevations, from sea level up to higher elevations in the mountains.

These habitat preferences of NH hummingbirds, known as the Habitat Preferences of NH Hummingbirds, are important to consider when creating an environment that is attractive to these beautiful and unique birds.

Migratory Patterns of NH Hummingbirds

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NH Hummingbirds exhibit fascinating migratory patterns throughout the year.

The migratory patterns of NH Hummingbirds are truly captivating. During the spring, these remarkable birds commence their migration from their wintering grounds in Central America and Mexico. Covering approximately 500 miles per day, they embark on long and arduous journeys. Finally arriving in New Hampshire, they search for suitable habitats to establish their breeding territories.

Throughout the summer months, NH Hummingbirds choose to stay in New Hampshire, where they construct nests and raise their young. Renowned for their territorial nature, they vigorously defend their feeding and nesting areas.

As the days grow shorter and temperatures decrease, NH Hummingbirds prepare for their fall migration. They undergo a process of bulking up on food, increasing their body weight by up to 25% in preparation for the demanding journey ahead. Then, these tiny birds embark on an impressive non-stop flight, spanning approximately 1,500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico. Powered by the energy reserves they have accumulated, they maintain an average speed of 25-30 miles per hour.

Upon reaching their wintering grounds, NH Hummingbirds spend the colder months in warmer climates abundant with food sources. They rely on nectar-rich flowers and feeders to sustain themselves during this time.

Comprehending the migratory patterns of NH Hummingbirds is of utmost importance for their conservation and protection. By providing them with suitable habitats, planting nectar-rich flowers, and consistently maintaining clean feeders, we can effectively support these incredible birds throughout their migratory journey.

Feeding Behavior of NH Hummingbirds


NH hummingbirds exhibit unique feeding behaviors that are essential for their survival and energy requirements. These behaviors play a crucial role in their daily routines and overall well-being.

Firstly, NH hummingbirds have a strong preference for consuming nectar, which serves as their primary source of energy. To facilitate this, they possess specialized bills and tongues that are perfectly adapted to reach deep into flowers and extract nectar.

Secondly, due to their high metabolic rates, NH hummingbirds need to replenish their energy levels frequently. They engage in multiple feeding sessions per hour, consuming small amounts of nectar each time.

In addition to nectar, NH hummingbirds also supplement their diet with insects. Insects provide vital protein and other nutrients necessary for their growth and development.

NH hummingbirds exhibit territorial behavior when it comes to their feeding grounds. They fiercely defend their territories, chasing away not only other hummingbirds but also larger birds that attempt to access their food sources. This territorial behavior ensures that they have a reliable and abundant food supply.

Furthermore, NH hummingbirds display a diverse diet. While flower nectar remains their primary choice, they can also feed on tree sap, fruit juice, and even small spiders or insects caught in spider webs.

Understanding the feeding behavior of NH hummingbirds is of utmost importance in providing suitable food sources to attract and support these captivating birds. To ensure a consistent food supply, it is recommended to plant a variety of nectar-rich flowers and maintain hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water.

Attracting Hummingbirds in New Hampshire

Attracting hummingbirds in New Hampshire is all about creating a welcoming environment for these delightful creatures. Discover how planting the right flowers, providing a water source, and setting up hummingbird feeders can invite these fascinating birds into your backyard. Sprinkle your garden with vibrant blossoms, offer a refreshing water oasis, and hang up those sugar-filled feeders to witness the enchanting presence of hummingbirds in your own New Hampshire sanctuary.

Planting the Right Flowers

When it comes to attracting hummingbirds in New Hampshire, one crucial aspect to consider is planting the right flowers. Hummingbirds are naturally drawn to bright, tubular flowers that are abundant in nectar, which provides the essential fuel for their high-energy lifestyles.

Some prime examples of flowers that are ideally suited for attracting hummingbirds in New Hampshire include trumpet vine, bee balm, cardinal flower, and salvia. These particular flowers possess vibrant colors and long, tubular shapes that perfectly complement the long beaks of hummingbirds.

In addition to carefully selecting the appropriate flowers, it is equally important to choose the optimum location for planting. Hummingbirds tend to prefer sunny areas with some shade, so it is recommended to plant the flowers in a spot that receives a good amount of sunlight throughout the day.

To ensure a consistent food source for hummingbirds as they migrate through New Hampshire, it is vital to provide a variety of flowers that bloom at different times during the season.

By planting the right flowers in the correct location, you can create an enchanting environment for hummingbirds and savor their delightful presence in your garden. So, make the most of it and commence the process of planting those vibrant, tubular flowers to attract these exquisite creatures and bring them closer to your home.

Back in 1875, the first officially documented sighting of a ruby-throated hummingbird in New Hampshire took place. Ever since that memorable event, these tiny birds have captured the hearts of birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts all across the state. With their dazzling colors and unique ability to hover in mid-air, hummingbirds have become a treasured symbol of beauty and grace in New Hampshire. By choosing the right flowers to plant, we can continue to allure and support these remarkable creatures, ensuring their presence in our state for generations to come.

Providing a Water Source

Providing a water source is crucial for attracting and supporting hummingbirds in New Hampshire. Here are some ways to ensure they have access to water:

  • 1. Birdbaths: Place shallow birdbaths in your yard or garden. Hummingbirds prefer shallow water sources, so ensure the water is no deeper than half an inch. Keep the birdbaths clean and refill them regularly.
  • 2. Misters: Set up misters or sprayers that emit a fine mist of water. Hummingbirds are naturally attracted to moving water, and misters can provide them with a source of water to fly through and bathe in.
  • 3. Drippers: Install a dripping water feature, such as a dripper or mister attached to a hose or spigot. The sound and motion of dripping water will catch the attention of hummingbirds, encouraging them to visit your yard.
  • 4. Water fountains: Consider adding a small water fountain to your yard or garden. Hummingbirds are attracted to the sound and movement of flowing water, and a fountain can provide them with a reliable water source.

By Providing a water source for hummingbirds, you can create an inviting habitat that supports their needs. Remember to keep the water sources clean and fresh, and place them in safe locations away from potential predators. With a little effort, you can attract these beautiful creatures and enjoy their presence in your surroundings.

Setting up Hummingbird Feeders

Setting up hummingbird feeders is a simple process that can attract these beautiful creatures to your garden. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Choose the right location: Place your hummingbird feeder in a quiet area of your garden, away from high traffic or noise.
  2. Hang at the right height: Hang the feeder at a height of 4-6 feet above the ground to make it easily accessible for hummingbirds.
  3. Create a safe environment: Ensure there are perching spots nearby, such as branches or small shrubs, where hummingbirds can rest.
  4. Make the nectar: Mix a solution of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water, and boil it to remove impurities. Let it cool before filling the feeder.
  5. Fill the feeder: Pour the nectar into the feeder, leaving some space at the top to prevent spillage when the birds feed.
  6. Hang the feeder: Hang the feeder securely using a hook or an adjustable hanger.
  7. Maintain cleanliness: Clean the feeder regularly by rinsing it with hot water and using a small brush to remove any residue. Refill with fresh nectar every 3-4 days.

Pro-tip: To attract more hummingbirds, plant bright-colored flowers nearby that produce nectar, such as trumpet vine, salvia, or bee balm. This will create a natural feeding area and increase the chances of hummingbirds visiting your yard.

Protecting and Conserving NH Hummingbirds

Protecting and conserving NH hummingbirds is crucial for sustaining their populations. By reducing pesticide use, preserving their natural habitats, and participating in citizen science projects, we can ensure the well-being of these fascinating creatures. Let’s explore the various ways we can contribute to the conservation efforts and create a harmonious environment that supports the thriving presence of NH hummingbirds.

Reducing Pesticide Use

Reducing pesticide use is crucial for protecting and conserving NH hummingbirds. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Opt for organic gardening practices: Instead of relying on chemical pesticides, switch to natural alternatives such as neem oil, insecticidal soaps, or companion planting.
  2. Promote beneficial insects: Foster the presence of beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings to naturally control pest populations.
  3. Create a hummingbird-friendly environment: Attract pollinators by planting native flowers that lure in insects. These natural predators of pests can help reduce the need for pesticides.
  4. Maintain good garden hygiene: Regularly clean up fallen leaves and debris, as they can harbor pests or diseases. Additionally, proper pruning and removal of dead or diseased plants will aid in preventing infestations.

Remember, reducing pesticide use not only safeguards hummingbirds but also enhances the overall ecosystem’s well-being. Embrace natural pest control methods to establish a safe and welcoming habitat for these beautiful creatures.

Preserving Natural Habitats

Preserving natural habitats is crucial for the conservation of NH hummingbirds. By maintaining the natural habitats, we can ensure that these beautiful creatures have a safe and suitable environment to thrive in. To preserve natural habitats, it is important to:

  1. Protecting Biodiversity: Maintain a diverse range of native plants and trees in your area. This provides food sources and nesting sites for hummingbirds, as well as other important pollinators and wildlife.
  2. Avoiding Chemicals: Reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides in your garden to preserve natural habitats. These chemicals can be harmful to hummingbirds and their habitats. Instead, consider using organic and natural pest control methods.
  3. Creating Wildlife Zones: Set aside areas in your garden or community for wildlife to flourish and contribute to preserving natural habitats. This can include creating wildflower meadows, planting native shrubs and trees, and leaving natural areas undisturbed.
  4. Controlling Invasive Species: Remove invasive plants that can outcompete and disrupt the natural balance of native plants, thus preserving natural habitats. Invasive species can reduce the availability of nectar and other food sources for hummingbirds.
  5. Supporting Conservation Efforts: Get involved in local conservation projects or organizations dedicated to preserving natural habitats. These initiatives often work towards identifying and protecting critical habitats for hummingbirds and other wildlife.

Preserving natural habitats is essential in ensuring the long-term survival of NH hummingbirds. By taking small steps in our own communities, we can make a significant impact on the conservation of these magnificent creatures. Let’s work together to protect and preserve their natural homes.

Participating in Citizen Science Projects

Participating in citizen science projects is a great way to contribute to the knowledge and conservation of NH hummingbirds.

  • Joining bird counts: By participating in bird counts, you can help researchers gather data on hummingbird populations in New Hampshire. This information is crucial for understanding population trends and making informed conservation decisions.
  • Monitoring hummingbird nests: By observing and monitoring hummingbird nests, you can contribute valuable information about breeding behavior and nesting success. This data helps researchers study nesting patterns and identify potential threats to nesting sites.
  • Reporting sightings: Reporting your hummingbird sightings to citizen science platforms like eBird allows researchers to track the distribution and migration patterns of these birds. This information helps in understanding their habitat preferences and the impact of climate change on their populations.
  • Creating hummingbird-friendly habitats: By planting native flowering plants and providing appropriate feeders and water sources, you can attract hummingbirds to your backyard and contribute to their conservation. Sharing your experiences and success stories can inspire others to create hummingbird-friendly habitats.

Fact: Citizen science projects have played a crucial role in expanding our knowledge and understanding of hummingbirds. The data collected by citizen scientists has contributed to scientific research, conservation efforts, and policy decisions aimed at protecting these fascinating birds.

Some Facts about NH Hummingbirds:

  • ✅ Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backward. Their closest relative is the swift. They can travel over 4000 miles in a year and fly at 98 km/h.
  • ✅ There are three known species of hummingbirds in New Hampshire: Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbirds, and Calliope Hummingbirds.
  • ✅ The most common hummingbird species in New Hampshire is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. They arrive in the first week of May and leave towards the end of September. Males have a ruby-red throat, while females have a green back and tail feathers with white, black, and grey-green bands.
  • ✅ The Rufous Hummingbird is considered a near-threatened species in New Hampshire. Males have bright orange backs and bellies, while females are greenish-brown. They migrate up to 4000 miles each way, breeding in Alaska and Canada and wintering in Mexico and the Gulf Coast.
  • ✅ Calliope Hummingbirds are non-breeding vagrants that breed along and migrate south or east for the winter. They are the smallest breeding bird in North America and can be easily confused with Rufous Hummingbirds and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the three species of hummingbirds found in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire is home to three species of hummingbirds: Ruby-Throated, Rufous, and Calliope.

Which species of hummingbird is the least frequent in New Hampshire?

The Calliope Hummingbird is the least frequent hummingbird species in New Hampshire, as it is considered a non-breeding vagrant.

Describe the appearance of a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.

A male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird has a ruby red throat patch, white collar, and a green back with a forked tail. Females have a green back and tail feathers with white, black, and grey-green bands.

What is the size of a Hummingbird egg?

A Hummingbird egg is about the size of a jelly bean.

What are the distinguishing features of a Rufous Hummingbird?

Male Rufous Hummingbirds have glossy orange-red throats, while females have whitish, speckled throats, green backs and crowns, and rufous, white-tipped tail feathers.

Are there any hummingbird species photo galleries available?

Yes, there are hummingbird species photo galleries available for bird watchers and bird lovers to enjoy.

Dale Garrett

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing his 15 years of 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 dale@chipperbirds.com for assistance.