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Hummingbirds In Ny

Hummingbirds in NY: A Fascinating Sight in the Empire State

New York, known as the Empire State, is not only famous for its iconic skyline and bustling city life but also for its diverse wildlife. Among the many species that call New York home, hummingbirds stand out as some of the most captivating and enchanting creatures. With their vibrant colors, unique flying abilities, and tiny size, hummingbirds have become a favorite among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. In this article, we will explore the world of hummingbirds in NY, their behavior, habitat, and the best ways to attract them to your backyard.

The Hummingbird Species in NY

New York is home to several species of hummingbirds, with the most common being the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). These tiny birds, measuring only 3-4 inches in length, are known for their emerald green feathers and the vibrant red throat patch that males display during mating season. While the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the most prevalent species in NY, other species, such as the Rufous Hummingbird and the Calliope Hummingbird, have been spotted in the state as well.

Habitat and Migration Patterns

Hummingbirds are migratory birds, and their presence in NY is seasonal. They typically arrive in late spring, around April or May, and stay until early fall, around September or October. During this time, they can be found in various habitats, including forests, gardens, and parks. Hummingbirds are attracted to areas with a diverse range of flowering plants, as they rely on nectar as their primary source of food.

While hummingbirds are known for their ability to hover and fly backward, they also require perches to rest and observe their surroundings. Providing a mix of open spaces and trees or shrubs in your backyard can create an ideal habitat for these tiny birds.

Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Backyard

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

  • Plant a variety of nectar-rich flowers, such as bee balm, cardinal flower, and trumpet vine. These flowers provide the essential nectar hummingbirds need to fuel their high-energy lifestyle.
  • Hang hummingbird feeders filled with a homemade nectar solution. The solution can be made by mixing four parts water with one part white granulated sugar. Avoid using honey or artificial sweeteners, as they can be harmful to hummingbirds.
  • Provide a water source, such as a shallow birdbath or a misting fountain. Hummingbirds not only drink water but also use it to clean their feathers.
  • Minimize the use of pesticides in your garden, as they can be harmful to hummingbirds and other beneficial insects.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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

Male hummingbirds often have more vibrant colors and display specific markings, such as the red throat patch in Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Females, on the other hand, tend to have more muted colors and lack these distinctive markings.

2. How fast do hummingbirds fly?

Hummingbirds are incredibly agile and can fly at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. They can also beat their wings up to 80 times per second, allowing them to hover and maneuver with precision.

3. How do hummingbirds find their food?

Hummingbirds have excellent eyesight and can spot brightly colored flowers from a distance. They also rely on their long, slender bills to reach deep into flowers and extract nectar.

4. Do hummingbirds migrate alone or in groups?

Hummingbirds typically migrate alone, although they may follow similar routes and timing as other individuals of their species. However, during migration, they may gather in areas with abundant food sources, creating temporary hummingbird hotspots.

5. How do hummingbirds survive the winter?

Most hummingbirds in NY migrate to warmer regions in Central America or Mexico for the winter. They rely on the abundance of nectar-producing flowers in these areas to sustain them during the colder months.

6. Can I feed hummingbirds with store-bought nectar?

While store-bought nectar is available, it is generally recommended to make your own nectar solution using white granulated sugar and water. This ensures that the nectar is free from additives or preservatives that may be harmful to hummingbirds.


Hummingbirds bring a touch of magic to the New York wildlife scene with their vibrant colors and unique flying abilities. By understanding their behavior, habitat, and migration patterns, you can create an inviting environment for these tiny birds in your own backyard. Planting nectar-rich flowers, providing feeders and water sources, and minimizing pesticide use are all effective ways to attract hummingbirds. So, get ready to witness the beauty of hummingbirds in NY and enjoy the enchanting sight of these remarkable creatures.