Types of Hummingbirds in New Jersey (Complete Guide)

With pine forests to the south, mountains to the northeast, a lengthy oceanic coastline, and rivers, lakes, and wetlands traversing the state, New Jersey is teaming with wildlife, especially outside the developed areas. This includes the remarkably interesting hummingbird which can be found in a variety of environments throughout the state, including your backyard. While most hummingbirds on this list are uncommon to see and are seasonable, you may get lucky one day and find one. However, it is important to understand which species you are viewing. This can be accomplished by knowing, what hummingbirds can be found in New Jersey?

Seven hummingbird species call the Garden State home, at least part-time. These include Allen’s Hummingbird, the Black-chinned Hummingbird, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Calliope Hummingbird, Mexican Violetear, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and Rufous Hummingbird. Most of these can be found in winter, but there are a few most common to summer and one that is year-round.

Keep reading to find out more about hummingbirds in New Jersey!

Did you know?

The list of hummingbirds below has been compiled from historical sighting reports from various sources. Whilst some of the birds listed are uncommon and hard to spot, we've still included them as they are sometimes seen still in New Jersey.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Archilochus colubris

Ruby throated hummingbird in flight

Ruby-throated Hummingbird in flight

Ruby throated hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby throated hummingbird on branch

Ruby-throated Hummingbird perched on a branch

Ruby throated hummingbird on look out

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on the lookout

Length:

7.5cm to 9cm

Wingspan:

8cm to 11cm

Weight:

3g to 3.5g

Seen :

All year, but most common in Summer

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is one of the most common in the United States. This species flies non-stop over 500-miles across the Gulf of Mexico after breeding. For this reason, you will only see these birds in the summer, but sometimes they can be spotted year-round.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird prefers forests and grasslands where it sources nectar from different plants. You can identify males by their black chin strap and scarlet gorget, while both sexes are on the smaller side for hummingbirds, and the female is larger than the male.

Rufous Hummingbird

Selasphorus rufus

Rufous hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous hummingbird in flight

Rufous Hummingbird in flight

Rufous hummingbird chirping

Rufous Hummingbird chirping

Juvenile rufous hummingbird

A juvenile Rufous Hummingbird

Length:

9cm to 10cm

Wingspan:

11cm to 12cm

Weight:

3g to 4g

Seen :

All year

Rufous Hummingbird

As the only hummingbird on this list that can be found in New Jersey year-round, the Rufous Hummingbird is also the furthest north breeding species in the United States. This hummingbird is typically an unwelcomed guest at bird feeders due to its temperament and aggressive nature with other birds.

Aside from feeders, this species prefers to call grasslands and forests home. They can be identified by their short black bill, small size, and rufous plumage. Additionally, males exhibit a rufous gorget. Both sexes are a similar size.

Mexican Violetear

Colibri thalassinus

Mexican violetear

Mexican Violetear

Mexican violetear 1

Close up of a Mexican Violetear

Mexican violetear feeding

Mexican Violetear feeding

Mexican violetear perched

Mexican Violetear perched on a branch

Length:

9cm to 12cm

Wingspan:

12cm

Weight:

5.9g

Seen :

Very rare, but most likely during summer

Mexican Violetear

Although incredibly rare, you may spot one a stunning Mexican Violetear during the warm summer months in New Jersey. This beautiful bird can be identified as a large (for hummingbirds) species with bright green feathers and blue accents on the belly and around the eyes. The green body color gradates into black feathers on their wings.

Its song is chipping, metallic and jerky articulated from the middle and upper levels of trees. The Mexican Violetear prefers roadsides and overgrown clearings with dense flowers and pine/oak forests and the edges of forests. During the nectar consumption process, this bird remains hidden within the flowers as a form of protection from predators. Their vivid and bright colors help them remain camouflaged while extracting nectar.

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Archilochus alexandri

Black chinned hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black chinned hummingbird in flight

Black-chinned Hummingbird in flight

Black chinned hummingbird female

Female Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black chinned hummingbird perching

Black-chinned Hummingbird perched

Length:

8cm to 9cm

Wingspan:

11cm

Weight:

3g to 3.5g

Seen :

Uncommon, but between October and January

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Another uncommon bird in New Jersey is the Black-chinned Hummingbird which can sometimes be spotted between October and January. You can identify this hummingbird by its medium/long decurved bill, grey crown, and mostly black gorget with hints of violet.

This small species is constantly pumping its tail while flying and seeks nectar from various flower types and feeders. Like most hummingbirds, females are commonly larger than males and younger birds are larger than their parents. You can find this bird across a range of habitats in the United States, including backyards as they are one of the most adaptable of all hummingbirds.

Calliope Hummingbird

Selasphorus calliope

Calliope hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird

Female calliope hummingbird hovering

Female Calliope Hummingbird hovering

Calliope hummingbird sitting on branch

Calliope Hummingbird sitting on a branch

Female calliope hummingbird

Female Calliope Hummingbird

Length:

7cm to 10cm

Wingspan:

11cm

Weight:

2g to 3g

Seen :

Fairly uncommon, but October to March is the best time

Calliope Hummingbird

Named after the Greek word meaning “beautiful voice,” the Calliope Hummingbird actually has limited vocal capabilities, so it is a mystery as to how this species got its name. The Calliope Hummingbird is the smallest bird (of any species) in the United States and weighs less than one penny!

This hummingbird species prefers to reside in conifer forests and older growth areas that have been recently burned from fires. They seek nectar from various flowers and plants that inhabit these areas of New Jersey. Aside from its tiny size, the Calliope Hummingbird is identifiable by its short black bill and short tail.

Males have a white background with a contrasting purple gorget over it. Although fairly uncommon in New Jersey, if you can spot one of these cute little birds, it would be between October and March.

Allen's Hummingbird

Selasphorus sasin

Allens hummingbird

Allen's Hummingbird

Allens hummingbird sitting in garden

Allen's Hummingbird in garden

Allens hummingbird sitting on spruce

Allen's Hummingbird perched on spruce

Female allens hummingbird perched on a branch

Female Allen's Hummingbird perched on a branch

Length:

9cm

Wingspan:

11cm

Weight:

2g to 4g

Seen :

Fairly uncommon, but August to January

Allen's Hummingbird

As a highly territorial species, Allen’s Hummingbirds are small, but you do not mess with their nests. You can identify this hummingbird by its medium black bill, and rufous back, tail, and rump.

Although their habitat continues to be destroyed by human development projects, Allen’s Hummingbird is as adaptive as any species, so you can find them in urban and suburban environments at feeders. However, like any animal, they prefer the natural protection and food selection of forests and fields where you can spot them feeding on honeysuckle and a variety of other flowers.

Although uncommon in New Jersey, you may spot this species between August and January.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Selasphorus platycercus

Broad tailed hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Female broad tailed hummingbird

Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad tailed hummingbird sitting on branch

Broad-tailed Hummingbird perched on a branch

Female broad tailed hummingbirds

Two female Broad-tailed Hummingbirds

Length:

9cm

Wingspan:

13cm

Weight:

3g to 4g

Seen :

Uncommon, but mostly during winter

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Although uncommon to New Jersey, if you were to spot a Broad-tailed Hummingbird, it would be in winter. If seeking this bird, look for its long tail and straight black bill. Males can be identified by the hot pink gorget which contrasts their white breast.

The Broad-tailed Hummingbird’s call is like small ringing bells, which you would be most likely to hear in winter. Like most other hummingbirds, this species feeds on nectar found in different plants located in backyard feeders, woodlands, fields, and forests.

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