Rufous Hummingbird

Silhouette HummingbirdsHummingbirds

Rufous Hummingbird

Selasphorus rufus
  • ORDER: Caprimulgiformes
  • FAMILY: Trochilidae
Basic Description

One of the feistiest hummingbird in North America. The brilliant orange male and the green-and-orange female Rufous Hummingbird are relentless attackers at flowers and feeders, going after (if not always defeating) even the large hummingbirds of the Southwest, which can be double their weight. Rufous Hummingbirds are wide-ranging, and breed farther north than any other hummingbird. Look for them in spring in California, summer in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and fall in the Rocky Mountains as they make their annual circuit of the West.

More ID Info
image of range map for Rufous HummingbirdRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

Backyards and flower-filled parks are good places to find Rufous Hummingbirds while they’re around, but these birds spend much of the year on the move. Check out the maps and charts from eBird to find out when Rufous Hummingbirds are reported in your area. You can select any location to display.

Other Names
  • Colibrí Rufo (Spanish)
  • Colibri roux (French)

Backyard Tips

Rufous Hummingbirds may take up residence (at least temporarily) in your garden if you grow hummingbird flowers or put out feeders. But beware! They may make life difficult for any other hummingbird species that visit your yard. If you live on their migration route, visiting Rufous Hummingbirds are likely to move on after just a week or two.

This species often comes to hummingbird feeders. 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. 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