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Hummingbirds In Alabama

Hummingbirds in Alabama

Alabama, known for its diverse wildlife and beautiful landscapes, is home to several species of hummingbirds. These tiny, colorful birds are a delight to observe and attract to your garden. In this article, we will explore the different types of hummingbirds found in Alabama, their behavior, habitat, and how to attract them to your backyard.

Types of Hummingbirds in Alabama

Alabama is home to several species of hummingbirds, with the most common being the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). These small birds are known for their vibrant green feathers and the males’ iridescent ruby-red throat patch. They are the only species of hummingbird that regularly breeds in eastern North America.

Other species that can be spotted in Alabama include the Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus), which is known for its orange-brown feathers and aggressive behavior, and the Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri), which has a dark throat patch and metallic green feathers.

Behavior and Habitat

Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures with unique behaviors. They are known for their ability to hover in mid-air, fly backward, and beat their wings at an incredible rate of up to 80 times per second. These birds have a high metabolism and need to consume large amounts of nectar to fuel their energy.

In Alabama, hummingbirds can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, gardens, and meadows. They are attracted to areas with a good supply of nectar-producing flowers, as well as feeders filled with sugar water. These birds are also known to migrate, with some species traveling thousands of miles each year.

Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Backyard

If you want to attract hummingbirds to your backyard in Alabama, there are several steps you can take:

  • Plant native flowers: Hummingbirds are attracted to native plants that produce nectar-rich flowers. Some examples of native flowers in Alabama include bee balm, cardinal flower, and trumpet vine.
  • Provide feeders: Hang hummingbird feeders filled with a mixture of four parts water to one part white granulated sugar. Avoid using honey or artificial sweeteners, as they can be harmful to the birds.
  • Offer perches: Hummingbirds need perches to rest and observe their surroundings. Place small branches or thin rods near your feeders to provide them with a place to rest.
  • Maintain a clean feeding area: Regularly clean your feeders to prevent the growth of mold or bacteria. Change the sugar water every few days, especially during hot weather.
  • Create a water source: Hummingbirds also need water for bathing and preening. Provide a shallow birdbath or misting fountain for them to enjoy.
  • Reduce pesticide use: Pesticides can be harmful to hummingbirds and their food sources. Opt for natural pest control methods to protect these delicate creatures.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. How can I identify a Ruby-throated Hummingbird?

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the most common species in Alabama. The males have vibrant green feathers and a ruby-red throat patch, while the females have a plain white throat and green feathers.

2. When is the best time to spot hummingbirds in Alabama?

Hummingbirds can be seen in Alabama from spring to fall, with the peak season being in late summer. They migrate to warmer climates during the winter months.

3. How can I differentiate between male and female hummingbirds?

Male hummingbirds are usually more colorful and have distinct throat patches, while females have more muted colors and lack the vibrant markings.

4. How do hummingbirds feed?

Hummingbirds feed by inserting their long, thin beaks into flowers or feeders to extract nectar. They also catch small insects and spiders for protein.

5. Can I use red dye in hummingbird feeders?

No, it is not recommended to use red dye in hummingbird feeders. The dye can be harmful to the birds. Stick to a simple mixture of sugar water.

6. How far do hummingbirds migrate?

Some hummingbird species can migrate thousands of miles each year. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird, for example, travels from the eastern United States to Central America during the winter months.


Hummingbirds are a delightful addition to any backyard in Alabama. By providing the right habitat and food sources, you can attract these tiny birds and enjoy their beauty and unique behaviors. Remember to plant native flowers, provide feeders with sugar water, and create a clean and inviting environment for them. With a little effort, you can create a hummingbird-friendly oasis in your own backyard.