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Merlin Bird ID

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    Black-chinned Hummingbird

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    Black-chinned Hummingbird

    Archilochus alexandri
    • ORDER: Caprimulgiformes
    • FAMILY: Trochilidae
    Basic Description

    A small green-backed hummingbird of the West, with no brilliant colors on its throat except a thin strip of iridescent purple bordering the black chin, only visible when light hits it just right. Black-chinned Hummingbirds are exceptionally widespread, found from deserts to mountain forests. Many winter along the Gulf Coast. Often perches at the very top of a bare branch. Low-pitched humming sound produced by wings.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Black-chinned HummingbirdRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    Find This Bird

    When birding in its range, listen for the distinctive humming wings and check out tiny bare branches at the tops of dead or live trees, where these birds often sit between feeding bouts. Black-chinned Hummingbirds can be very tricky to follow as they dart and weave among flowering shrubs and insect swarms, but after a feeding bout they very often return to a favorite perch.

    Other Names
    • Colibrí Barba Negra (Spanish)
    • Colibri à gorge noire (French)

    Backyard Tips

    It’s fairly easy to attract Black-chinned Hummingbirds to feeding stations. Make sugar water mixtures with about one-quarter cup of sugar per cup of water. Food coloring is unnecessary; table sugar is the best choice. Change the water before it grows cloudy or discolored and remember that during hot weather, sugar water ferments rapidly to produce toxic alcohol. During hot spells, change your hummingbird water daily or at most every two days. Your feeders will attract far more hummingbirds if you also grow appropriate flowers attractive to them. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

    • Cool Facts