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5 Types of Hummingbirds in Idaho (With Pictures)

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Male broad tailed hummingbird

If you’re looking to spot a hummingbird in Idaho, there are five extremely common species and one you might spot if you’re lucky. Still, when you’re trying to identify hummingbirds in Idaho, it all comes down to when and where you are in the state, so you’ll want to read a bit more about each hummingbird in Idaho to help you spot them. Not only that, but we’ve also highlighted some tips and tricks you can use to attract hummingbirds to your yard. Let’s get into it.

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The 5 Hummingbird Species in Idaho

1. Broad-Tailed Hummingbird

Broad-Tailed Hummingbird
Photo Credit: Dec Hogan, Shutterstock
Scientific Name Selasphorus platycercus
Wingspan 5 to 5.5 inches
Weight 0.11 to 0.15 ounces

If you’re looking to spot a Broad-Tailed Hummingbird in Idaho, you’ll need to travel to the lower half of the state and ideally look in higher elevations during the warmer months. The Broad-Tailed Hummingbird only travels as far north as Idaho during the breeding season, and they prefer to breed at elevations between 5,000 and 10,000 feet.

Many people confuse the Broad-Tailed Hummingbird for the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird because of the bright coloring around the male’s throat, but if you’re spotting one in Idaho, it’s definitely the Broad-Tailed Hummingbird.

Females don’t have the bright coloring around their chins; instead, they’re white with brown dots throughout.

2. Black-Chinned Hummingbird

black chinned hummingbird
Photo Credit: Avia5, Pixabay
Scientific Name Archilochus alexandri
Wingspan 3 to 3.5 inches
Weight 0.1 to 0.12 ounces

The Black-Chinned Hummingbird is a hummingbird species you can find throughout most of Idaho throughout the warmer breeding months. You usually won’t find them in the easternmost portion of the state though. Idaho is near the top of the migration route for these hummingbirds, so any that make it to Idaho have traveled quite the distance!

Despite the name, only males have a black chin, although it has a purple hue to it. Females have a completely white and brown chin. Both males and females have white and brown chests and backs.

3. Calliope Hummingbird

calliope hummingbird
Photo Credit: Avia5, Pixabay
Scientific Name Selasphorus calliope
Wingspan 4 to 4.5 inches
Weight 0.07 to 0.11 ounces

If you’re trying to spot the smallest hummingbird in Idaho, it’s the Calliope Hummingbird. Not only is it the smallest hummingbird, but it’s the smallest bird overall. Most of these birds don’t even weigh in at an ounce, yet despite this, they migrate from Mexico up into portions of Canada.

You can find the Calliope Hummingbird in northern parts of Idaho throughout the breeding season, but if you live in the lower half of the state, you’ll only see these birds as they’re migrating.

4. Rufous Hummingbird

rufuous hummingbird close up
Image Credit: Avia5, Pixabay
Scientific Name Selasphorus rufus
Wingspan 4 to 4.5 inches
Weight 0.1 to 0.2 ounces

While you can spot Rufous Hummingbirds throughout Idaho depending on the season, they only pass through the lowermost portion of the state during migration. But for the upper part of the state, you can find the Rufous Hummingbird all throughout the warmer months during the breeding season.

These hardy birds migrate quite a bit too, wintering all the way down in Mexico! The Rufous Hummingbird has a copper coloring throughout, although you can find some black feathers on their wings and tail feathers.

5. Anna’s Hummingbird

anna's hummingbird
Image Credit: vagabond54, Shutterstock
Scientific Name Calypte anna
Wingspan 4.5 to 4.9 inches
Weight 0.1 to 0.2 ounces

Of all the hummingbirds on our list, the Anna’s Hummingbird is by far the least likely species of hummingbird for you to find in Idaho. That’s because Idaho falls just outside of their range.

But because it’s so close to their range it’s not unheard of to spot an Anna’s Hummingbird along the western side of the state. These birds are extremely small yet hardy, but they hardly migrate at all.

Male Anna’s Hummingbirds have bright pink and purple heads, while females have a more mundane brown and white coloring throughout.hummingbird divider

Tips for Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Yard

If you’re trying to spot a hummingbird in Idaho, what better way to do it than to attract them to your yard? While it’s not always the easiest thing to do, when you can look outside and spot a hummingbird from the comfort of your home it’s all worth it.

Below, we’ve highlighted five different tips and tricks you can use to help you attract any of the five hummingbird species above to your backyard.

1. Know When and Where to Look

If you’re looking to attract hummingbirds to your yard, you need to put out the right feeders at the right time. If you’re putting out feeders during the winter in Idaho, you’re not going to attract a hummingbird to it.

Meanwhile, if you’re hoping to attract a Broad-Shouldered Hummingbird and you live in the northernmost part of the state, you’re never going to pull it off. Know when the hummingbirds will visit your area and plan accordingly.

anna's hummingbird in the nest
Image Credit: sen yang, Shutterstock

2. Put Out Feeders

While you can keep an eye out for hummingbirds and hope to get lucky if you’re serious about spotting one, you need to put out a feeder for them. Get a bright red feeder and put it in a highly visible place that isn’t around too much traffic for the best possible results.

3. Keep Feeders Clean and Stocked

Not only do you need to put out a feeder, but you need to ensure the feeder has plenty of sugar water and is clean if you want hummingbirds to come and visit it. If a hummingbird comes to check out a feeder and it’s empty, they likely won’t come back to it. But if they come and find a feeder that’s full, they’re likely going to come back and eat from it again in the future!

4. Put Them in the Same Spot

The same hummingbird can come back year after year, and if they know where a feeder is, they’re more likely to visit that location. Keep the location the same and you can turn your backyard into a popular destination the next time hummingbirds are flying around!

rufous hummingbird sipping nectar in a feeder
Image Credit: KAMcMillan, Pixabay

5. Put Out Bird Baths

Hummingbirds love feeders, but their next favorite thing is a birdbath. So, if you have a location that has both of those things, it’s sure to attract some hummingbirds. You’ll want to keep the birdbaths clean and have some water in it all the time.

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If you live in Idaho, you might not be able to see hummingbirds all year round, but there’s no reason you can’t spot some during the warmer months. If you want to increase your chances of spotting one, turn your yard into a hummingbird oasis and then keep your eyes out for one from May to August!

Featured Image Credit: Kent Raney, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.