The Enchanting World of Hummingbirds in Ohio [ID & Pictures]

hummingbirds in ohio

Hummingbirds are known for their bright colors and fast-flapping wings. You can find them throughout the U.S, but certain species live only in specific regions of the country.

These stunning creatures are some of the fascinating small birds in Ohio. This article will discuss eight species of hummingbird in Ohio and what makes them so attractive!

Calliope Hummingbird (Selasphorus calliope)

Calliope Hummingbird

The Calliope Hummingbird is one of the smallest birds in North America, only 3.9 inches long, 0.12 ounces, and 3.7 to 4.3 inches wingspan. 

They feed primarily on nectar from flowers, insects, tree sap, and tiny spiders to supplement their diet during migration.

It prefers to nest in open woodland, scrub, forest edges, parks, and gardens. During migration, you can spot them in any clear habitat, including city parks and backyards. 

You can also find them across North America, but they breed primarily along mountain ranges at high altitudes.

Fun Facts

  • The calliope’s wings beat up to 80 beats per second, making it one of the fastest small birds (18.6 mph). It can fly backward and upside down!
  • Calliope hummingbird males are territorial and defend their territory by chasing other hummingbirds and larger birds like hawks and crows.
  • They spend most of their time hopping around on land, grasses, flowers, and low shrubs, looking for nectar, seeds, or insects to eat.

Mexican Violetear Hummingbird (Colibri thalassinus)

Mexican Violetear Hummingbird (Colibri thalassinus)

The Mexican Violetear is one of two species of violetears found primarily within Mexico and North America, reaching as far north as South Carolina.

Their long, decurved bills help them reach the nectar at deeper depths than other hummingbird species. They’re 3.8 inches long with a wingspan of 4.7 inches.

Violetears feed on nectar, insects, and sap. They’re very active with flowers with long tubes, such as honeysuckle, trumpet creeper, bee balm, and bleeding hearts.

You can find them in various habitats, including desert scrub and tropical deciduous forests, mainly in orchards, gardens, and woodlands.

Fun Facts

  • These tiny birds are aggressive and territorial—many often nest, live, and perch close to each other!
  • The female’s tail is longer and more tapered than other hummingbird females, making her easier to identify.
  • During incubation, both parents will take turns staying in the nest until the eggs hatch or the chicks die.

Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin)

Allen’s Hummingbird

Allen’s hummingbird is one of the most common in Ohio and other states across North America.

They’re medium-sized, about 3.5 inches long, weighing 0.07 to 0.14 ounces with a wingspan of 4.3 inches.

They drink nectar from flowers and eat tree sap, tiny spiders, and insects, which they catch in mid-air. Mainly you can spot them hovering over flowers while feeding.

The Allen’s Hummingbird prefers moist habitats such as gardens, woodland edges, prairies, pastures, and wetlands. They nest high off the ground on mosses, lichens, or vines.

Females choose nest site locations and build cup-shaped nests with leaves, grasses, and spider webs woven with chewed-up bits of plants mixed with saliva.

Fun Facts

  • They fly at a rate of up to 50 miles per hour when hunting for food!
  • When feeding, these birds have the unique ability to hover over a single flower for an extended period, sometimes even longer than twenty minutes.
  • Males feed females during courtship displays, and the female will mate with multiple males to ensure fertilization.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris)

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are one of the smallest birds in North America, measuring 2.6 to 3.5 inches long and weighing less than an ounce, with a wingspan of 3.1 to 4.3 inches.

They’re named for their ruby-colored throat, which they flash when feeding or protecting a nest. 

Ruby-throated has a high metabolism and must eat every 10 to 20 minutes to maintain weight, making them one of the most aggressive feeders in nature.

They eat nectar from fruit trees like apple trees, grapes, hollyhocks, and sycamores, as well as insects like spiders, worms, and caterpillars.

Their preferred habitats are forests and woodlands, especially those with flowers year-round or near fresh water.

Fun Facts

  • They can reach up to 25 miles per hour while flying, 60 mph when diving, and soar even quicker when the wind pushes them along!
  • They can also fly backward by folding their wings and dipping down before flapping upward again. 
  • A female will lay two eggs and incubate them until they hatch. Once the chicks hatch, she spends all day teaching them how to fly and hunt.
  • Their nests are built on thin branches close to water, often hidden in dense foliage so predators can’t see them.

Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri)

Black-chinned Hummingbird

The Black-chinned Hummingbird is one of the most common species found throughout the country. They’re 3.5 inches long and weigh about 0.2 ounces with a wingspan of 4.3 inches.

Its black chin distinguishes it with purplish side feathers and throat with a white fringe on its wings. 

They feed mainly on nectar from flowers, insects, spiders, and tree sap. It visits various plants for food, including honeysuckle, red currants, chokecherries, and even tomatoes.

You can find them in various habitats, including woodlands, meadows, chaparral areas, and deserts. 

Fun Facts

  • The males are a little bigger and quicker when flying than the females, and their feathers are more iridescent. 
  • Males chase each other while displaying their iridescent plumage to find a mating partner. Sometimes feathers can be ripped off during these intense battles!
  • One of the best ways to attract them to your backyard is to grow native flowering plants such as cardinal flower, purple coneflower, bee balm, and others.

Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)

Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird is the most common hummingbird spotted throughout Ohio. They range from 3-4 inches long, with a weight of less than half an ounce and a 4.7 wingspan.

Anna’s are primarily gray with a white underside, a black mask around their eyes, and a long curveless bill. 

Males have a white stripe across their throat, and females have golden-green streaks on the side of their heads.

These tiny birds feed primarily on nectar from various flowers, insects, tree sap, and spiders. They eat about 1/2 to 2/3 of their body weight daily to maintain some flying energy.

Anna’s live in various habitats, but like other hummingbirds, they prefer places with lots of flowers. You can spot them in Ohio’s fields, yards, gardens, and forests.

Fun Facts

  • Territorial males will hover near flowering plants while chasing after intruders until they fly out of sight. 
  • They use vocalizations when defending territory by making a high-pitched buzz or chirp sound with their wings fluttering.
  • Females typically mate with more than one male during mating season, so it may not always be the biological father who raises chicks.

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus Rufus)

Rufous Hummingbird

The Rufous Hummingbirds are some of the smallest species throughout North America and North Carolina. 

They’re easy to identify by their fiery orange plumage, a prominent white stripe along their throats, green traces on their iridescent feathers, and a dark straight bill with a sharp tip.

The bird’s diet primarily consists of nectar from flowers, sap from plants, and tiny bugs like flies, mites, weevils, beetles, wasps, gnats, and spiders.

Flowers that attract these birds include fuchsia flowers, azalea flowers, fireweed flowers, honeysuckle flowers, hollyhock flowers, and lantana flowers.

You can find them near creeks, rivers, lakesides, and meadows. They prefer plants such as willow trees, brambles, rose bushes, and thistles for perching areas and nectar sources. 

Fun Facts

  • Males will make a humming sound and other fantastic displays while circling the female during courtship to warn off other males.
  • After mating, both males and females will build a nest out of moss, lichen, grasses, and spider webs high up in trees or shrubs.
  • Females typically lay two eggs which hatch after 16-18 days, and hummingbird chicks fledge at 19 days old.
  • Males have more vibrant colors than females do, which is why it’s common to spot a male Rufous Hummingbird but rarely see females.

Broad-tailed Hummingbirds (Selasphorus platycercus)

Broad-tailed Hummingbirds

Broad-tailed hummingbirds are the largest species of hummingbird in Ohio. They’re 4 inches long, weigh about a quarter of an ounce and have a wingspan of 5.3 inches. 

These hummingbirds will feed on nectar from flowers, spiders, insects, tree sap, and various berries.

They live in open woodlands with tall trees, clearings, or meadows with nearby plants that produce nectar. 

You can find them nesting near bodies of water like streams or ponds with plenty of nearby vegetation for food sources and around your hummingbird feeders.

They also nest in tree cavities, old squirrel nests, or abandoned hornet nests high up off the ground in trees or shrubs.

Fun Facts

  • Females seem dominant over males because they control most aspects of nesting, but both genders participate equally in territorial defense.
  • Eggs incubate for 15-18 days before hatching into tiny chicks with no down feathers or bills. 
  • Broad-tails fly up to 30 miles per hour and can dive and fly backward faster than most other hummingbirds!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the season for hummingbirds in Ohio?

In Ohio, hummingbird season begins in early May and lasts until the end of September. During this time, you can spot a variety of hummingbird species.

When can I put out my hummingbird feeder in Ohio?

Depending on the weather, hummingbirds return to Ohio in April, so make sure your feeders are cleaned and ready to go by the end of March.

It’s also essential to note that different feeders require different maintenance and setup to attract the birds.

What kind of hummingbirds live in Ohio?

The Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the only hummingbird species that reside in every Ohio region. 

You can find them year-round, but they’re most prevalent during the breeding season, which is spring and early summer.

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