Hummingbirds in Louisiana (Pictures and Facts)

Louisiana is a state that is so rich in diversity that it can be overwhelming! In this southern state, you can find tidal marshes, bayous, swamps, woodlands, forests, and even prairies, and each of these ecosystems has its own unique flora and fauna.

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird on nest feeding two chicks.
Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird and chicks.

One of the most interesting animals to see in Louisiana is the hummingbird, especially when you consider there are an amazing over ten types of hummingbirds in Louisiana!

Hummingbirds in Louisiana might be fast-flying and hard to spot, but if you do manage to see one, they might just be the most beautiful bird you’ve ever seen.

In Louisiana, you can find two native hummingbird species:

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Rufous Hummingbird

There are also nine accidental or seasonal hummingbirds that have been spotted in the state:

  • Allen’s Hummingbird
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird
  • Blue-throated Mountain Gem
  • Broad-tailed Hummingbird
  • Broad-billed Hummingbird
  • Buff-bellied Hummingbird
  • Calliope Hummingbird
  • Mexican Violetear Hummingbird

With so many types of hummingbirds, it might seem like there is no way to see them all, but not to worry! In this post, we’ll help you identify the types of hummingbirds in Louisiana and where you can spot them.

Hummingbirds in Louisiana

Even though there are so many different species of hummingbirds in Louisiana, many residents only ever seen one of them, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Seeing the other native hummingbird or any of the accidental ones can be more difficult, which is why you need to know exactly what you’re looking for.

Read on to discover the size, diet, and where to spot all the different hummingbirds in Louisiana.

Native Hummingbirds of Louisiana

There are two types of hummingbirds that are native to Louisiana: the Ruby-throated Humming and the Rufous Hummingbird.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird in flight on green background.
Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird Size: 3 – 3.5 inches
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird Diet: Nectar and tiny insects
  • Where To Spot A Ruby-throated Hummingbird: They’ll go for blooms with a lot of nectar wherever they can. These hummingbirds are also frequent visitors to hummingbird nectar feeders at people’s homes.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird might be one of the most common hummingbirds in the United States, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t incredibly interesting in their own right.

The male Ruby-throated hummingbird is emerald green with a ruby throat, while the female is a duller green without the brightly colored throat.

Female and Male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in flight with a colorful background.
Female and Male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

In Louisiana, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird can be seen quite often, but during the winter, they undertake an incredible journey of around 500 miles to Mexico.

This winter migration allows them to avoid the cold weather, but considering how small these little birds are, the distance really is unfathomable.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the only hummingbirds that breed in the Eastern United States.

Rufous Hummingbird

Male Rufous Hummingbird in flight with feet readily visible, against a smooth green background.
Male Rufous Hummingbird
  • Rufous Hummingbird Size: 2.8-3.5 inches
  • Rufous Hummingbird Diet: Nectar and tiny insects
  • Where to Spot A Rufous Hummingbird: They prefer to breed in open settings, such as clearings and woodland margins. They can be observed at hummingbird feeders on occasion.

The Rufous Hummingbird is an exciting thing to see, considering they are less common than Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. This hummingbird breeds farther north than any other in the United States, but will also spend time in Louisiana.

A female Rufous Hummingbird hovering in flight on blue gray background.
Female Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbirds are very small, with a pale belly and green-brown back and wings. The males of the species have a lovely russet throat that the females lack.

Rufous Hummingbirds are extremely territorial, and while they’re a beautiful sight to behold, they are known to run other hummingbirds away from bird feeders.

Seasonal and Non-Native Hummingbirds of Louisiana

These hummingbirds aren’t native to Louisiana, but they have had confirmed sightings in the state. They range from uncommon to exceedingly rare.

Allen’s Hummingbird

Male Allen's Hummingbird bird perched on edge of vertical branch.
Male Allen’s Hummingbird bird
  • Allen’s Hummingbird Size: 3-3.5 inches
  • Allen’s Hummingbird Diet: Nectar for the most part, but also insects.
  • Where To Spot A Allen’s Hummingbird: Allen’s Hummingbird loves to breed in coastal forests, and will be seen near the coast in Louisiana.

Resembling the grumpy Rufous Hummingbird, the Allen’s Hummingbird is small and stocky, and not nearly as concerned with their territory.

Allen’s Hummingbird has a pale stomach, green or brown back and wings. The male will have a burnt orange throat that extends up near their eyes.

Female Allen's Hummingbird sitting on her nest.
Female Allen’s Hummingbird

This bird is unique because they only breed in a very thin strip of coastal land reaching from California to Oregon, and have occasionally been spotted in Louisiana.

Anna’s Hummingbird

Male Anna's Hummingbird in flight.
Male Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Anna’s Hummingbird Size: 3-3.9 inches
  • Anna’s Hummingbird Diet: They enjoy sugar water, tiny insects, and nectar.
  • Where To Spot A Anna’s Hummingbird: Around hummingbird nectar feeders, or high in the branches of trees.

Anna’s Hummingbird isn’t afraid of humans in Louisiana. In fact, one of the most common places to see these little beauties is near a fresh, full hummingbird feeder stocked with sugar water. If they don’t have a feeder handy, Anna’s Hummingbird will seek out large, colorful blooms.

Female Anna's Hummingbird sitting on eggs in nest with bright green background.
Female Anna’s Hummingbird

Both the male and female Anna’s Hummingbirds are gray or green, and the male sports a reddish pink head and throat that is most brilliant in direct sunlight.

If you’re looking for Louisiana’s best songbird, Anna’s Hummingbird will give any other a run for their money. They love to perch high in trees and sing their little hearts out.

Black-Chinned Hummingbird

Black-Chinned Hummingbird with purple throat aglow while hovering in flight.
  • Black-Chinned Hummingbird Size: 3 – 3.5 inches
  • Black-Chinned Hummingbird Diet: Mostly nectar and tiny insects
  • Where To Spot A Black-Chinned Hummingbird: Hummingbird feeders are preferred by Black-chinned Hummingbirds, however, they can also be found on dead tree limbs.

The Black-chinned Hummingbirds of Louisiana are named for their dark throats, but when the sun hits this plumage, it will shine a gorgeous metallic purple.

These little hummingbirds are common in the summer, but are migrating hummingbirds.

Like their Ruby-throated cousins, the Black-chinned hummingbirds are gray-green birds that get paler towards the front of their body. Their wings are long, and the males have dark purple chins and throats.

Female Black-chinned Hummingbird in flight.
Female Black-chinned Hummingbird

Most Black-chinned Hummingbirds migrate south for the winter, but small populations have been known to stay farther north, like in Louisiana.

Blue-throated Mountain-Gem

Blue-throated Mountain-Gem Hummingbird perched on a branch.
Male Blue-throated Mountain-Gem Hummingbird
  • Blue-throated Mountain-Gem Size: 4.3-5.5 inches
  • Blue-throated Mountain-Gem Diet: They love brightly-colored flowers, but will also frequent hummingbird feeders.
  • Where To Spot A Blue-throated Mountain-Gem: Near running water in the shade of mountains.

Don’t discount this little bird just because it doesn’t have ‘hummingbird’ in its name. One look at the Blue-throated Mountain Gem guarantees that these feisty friends are indeed real hummingbirds.

They aren’t shy either, and while they aren’t common in Louisiana, they’re easy to spot when they visit.

The Blue-throated Mountain gem is unique in that it is the largest hummingbird that breeds in the United States!

Males of this species have blue on their throats, but they are most easily identified by their flashy white wing and tail plumage.

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Male Broad-billed Hummingbird in flight.
Male Broad-billed Hummingbird
  • Broad-billed Hummingbird Size: 3-4 inches
  • Broad-billed Hummingbird Diet: Insects, nectar from flowers, and sugar water from feeders.
  • Where To Spot A Broad-billed Hummingbird: Higher elevations in open areas.

The Broad-billed Hummingbird lives up to its name with a thicker pink or orange beak that curves slightly downwards. Where they are native, they are very common, but they are harder to spot in Louisiana.

With a bright blue throat and tail, the male Broad-billed Hummingbird is unmistakable. Females have much less color than males.

Female Broad-billed Hummingbird in flight.
Female Broad Billed Hummingbird

The Broad-billed Hummingbird maybe spotted in Louisiana, but its native region is in Arizona.

Broad-Tailed Hummingbird

A male Broad-tailed Hummingbird on a curving perch.
A male Broad-tailed Hummingbird on a curving perch.
  • Broad-Tailed Hummingbird Size: 3.3 to 3.8 inches
  • Broad-Tailed Hummingbird Diet: Tiny insects and nectar
  • Where To Spot A Broad-Tailed Hummingbird: Higher elevation, usually over 10,00 feet. In Louisiana, they can be spotted near streams.

A beautiful light green hummingbird, the Broad-tailed Hummingbird is best known for the metallic zing sound that they make as they pass by.

Male Broad-tailed Hummingbirds have a magenta throat, and both the male and the female are a forest green on their backs that becomes paler towards the belly.

A female Broad-tailed Hummingbird mother and her chick gazing at each other during feeding time, while sitting on the edge of their little nest.
Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird and chick

In Louisiana, the Broad-tailed Hummingbird can be seen in enormous fields of wildflowers, drinking their fill of nectar.

Buff-Bellied Hummingbird

Buff-bellied Hummingbird flying against a yellowish-green background.
Male Buff-bellied Hummingbird
  • Buff-Bellied Hummingbird Size: 3.9-4.3 inches
  • Buff-Bellied Hummingbird Diet: Nectar and insects for the most part.
  • Where To Spot A Buff-Bellied Hummingbird: Thick forests and thickets.

The Buff-bellied Hummingbird is most famous for being the only hummingbird that nests in southern Texas, while most other hummingbirds in the same family live in the tropics.

As their name suggests, the Buff-bellied Hummingbird has a tan stomach and green or brown body. Males have an extended bib of metallic green and teal. Females don’t have as much color in their plumage as males.

This sun-loving hummingbird also has the special talent of being able to pluck flying insects right out of the air to feed on!

Calliope Hummingbird

Male Calliope hummingbird on branch.
Male Calliope Hummingbird
  • Calliope Hummingbird Size: Approximately 3 inches
  • Calliope Hummingbird Diet: Nectar from small flowers for the most part, but they can also dine on small insects.
  • Where To Spot A Calliope Hummingbird: Fairly high elevation in forests and in high grass.

All hummingbirds are small, but the Calliope Hummingbird takes this to the extreme, and is actually the smallest hummingbird in North America! These mild-mannered birds have incredibly long migrations.

Both the male and female Calliope Hummingbird are a beautiful metallic green, and the male has distinct magenta feather stripes on its throat, which are called ‘rays’.

Female Calliope Hummingbird drinks the nectar from a lavendar flower.
Female Calliope Hummingbird

If you want to attract this little hummingbird to your feeder, make sure they aren’t getting bullied or chased away by other, larger hummingbirds!

Mexican Violetear Hummingbird

Mexican Violetear Hummingbird hovering in flight.
Male Mexican Violetear Hummingbird
  • Mexican Violetear Hummingbird Size: 4.25 – 4.5 inches
  • Mexican Violetear Hummingbird Diet: Nectar from a large variety of small flowers
  • Where To Spot A Mexican Violetear Hummingbird: They are commonly seen in Mexico, which is why they are known as Mexican Violetear Hummingbirds. They are rarely observed at bird feeders in Louisiana, preferring clearings and overgrown meadows.

Truly a jewel of the sky, the Green-Violet Ear Hummingbird is an absolute stunner. They usually frequent the tropics of South America, all the way down to Nicaragua in some cases, but they are also seen periodically in Louisiana.

The gorgeous birds have metallic green bodies that fade to blue or teal, and a streak of bright violet on their eye and ear area. This brilliant shading is why they are also known as Green-Violetear Hummingbirds.

Mexican Violetear Hummingbird is feeding the chicks at the nest.
Mexican Violetear Hummingbird feeding chicks.

Originally thought to be only found in Mexico, hummingbird experts now theorize that the Mexican Violetear Hummingbird is truly nomadic.

Final Thoughts on Hummingbirds in Louisiana

If you want to attract hummingbirds to your Louisiana yard, the best way to do it is by feeding hummingbirds! You can put up a red hummingbird feeder, or start a hummingbird garden and grow flowers that hummingbirds like, such as:

  • Bee Balm
  • Cardinal Flower
  • Columbine
  • Salvia
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Trumpet Creeper

With a little patience and some luck, you’ll start attracting hummingbirds to your yard and will get a glimpse of one of these amazing creatures up close!

Thanks for reading!

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