The most common hummingbird to be found in southeast Texas is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. During the Spring migration season, from March through May, they pass through the area on their northbound journey. Then the southbound migrants begin to appear in mid-July with an increase in numbers in September, and the odd straggler through November.
During the winter months, we have several species of hummingbird wintering in Texas: Rufous and Black-chinned are the most common, but the rarer Allen's, Anna's, Calliope, Costa's, Broad-tailed and Buff-bellied are occasionally found, too. In fact, the first Buff-bellied to ever visit my feeders was seen in Nov 02.
Occasionally much rarer species such as Broad-billed or even a Green-breasted Mango or Green Violet-ear appear in Texas. I live in the hope that I will see one of these special hummingbirds at my feeders one day.
This page was last updated on: February 27, 2010
A banded female Rufous Hummingbird photographed on August 7th, 2004. NOTE: the band on the right leg
Texas Hummingbird Round-up
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has been running a Hummingbird Round-up for the last few years. All you have to do is watch the hummingbirds visiting your feeders, make a note on the TPWD form and submit it at the end of each year. Through my participation, I learned that by maintaining my feeders in the winter, I would be rewarded with wintering Rufous and Black-chinned Hummingbirds, and I was also lucky to get a Buff-bellied visit for a few days during the 02-03 season!
For more information in how to participate, visit the TPWD website:
An unbanded immature male Rufous Hummingbird, photographed in Jan. 2007
Did you know that hummingbirds have eyelashes? Click here for a fascinating photo essay, courtesy of Hilton Pond Nature Center, which showcases up close and personal photos of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird's eyes, bill and plumage.
If you want more information on hummingbirds, including recipes for making your own sugar water for your feeders, here are some links to a few excellent websites: