5 Hummingbirds in Maryland (With Pictures)

5 Hummingbirds in Maryland (With Pictures)

Welcome to the delightful world of hummingbirds in Maryland, where these enchanting avian wonders bring a touch of magic to the state’s landscapes. From lush gardens and coastal habitats to picturesque woodlands, Maryland offers a diverse range of environments that attract a variety of hummingbird species.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the unique characteristics and behaviors of these tiny marvels, as well as their importance in the ecosystem as pollinators. Discover the joy of observing their dazzling plumage, agile flight, and captivating courtship displays. Join us on this exploration of the hummingbird’s presence in Maryland, and learn how to create hummingbird-friendly spaces to foster a deeper connection with these charming creatures in your own backyard.

The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is the only hummingbird that you will find with certainty. The rest of the birds on this list are rare and only arrive in the Old Line State by accident but have however all been seen there!

1. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

  • Scientific name: Archilochus colubris
  • Life span: 3-5 years
  • Size: 3-3.75 in
  • Weight: 2-6 g
  • Wingspan: 3.1-4.3 in
  • Status: Least Concern
  • State status: Breeding and common

Meet the exquisite Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, a dazzling spectacle in eastern North America. Males flaunt a vibrant iridescent red throat that glistens like a precious gem, while females sport a more subtle green and white plumage.

Surprisingly, despite their tiny size, these fearless travelers embark on a remarkable non-stop 500-mile journey across the Gulf of Mexico during their fall migration to reach their wintering grounds in Central America. Their endurance and determination in navigating this challenging feat make them true champions of the avian world.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, one of Maryland’s most enchanting birds, exhibits meticulous nesting behavior. Females skillfully build their nests, usually located on slender tree branches, using a variety of materials such as plant down, moss, and spider silk. Their cup-shaped nests provide a safe and snug haven for their two tiny pea-sized eggs. Witnessing their nest-building process is a testament to nature’s precision and resourcefulness.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are known for their unique dietary preferences. While they primarily feed on nectar from brightly coloured flowers, they also supplement their diet with protein-rich insects. This combination ensures a balanced nutritional intake, supporting their high-energy lifestyle and enabling their incredible hovering abilities.

The conservation of Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds in Maryland has been a result of ongoing efforts by various organizations and individuals. Conservationists work to protect their habitats, promote planting of nectar-rich flowers, and raise awareness about the threats they face, including window collisions and habitat loss.

Understanding the historical challenges these birds encountered and the progress made in preserving their population highlights the significance of continued conservation initiatives.

2. Black-Chinned Hummingbird

  • Scientific name: Archilochus alexandri
  • Life span: 3-6 years
  • Size: 3-4 in
  • Weight: 2.5-4.5 g
  • Wingspan: 4.3-5.1 in
  • Status: Least Concern
  • State status: Migratory and rare

In the western regions of North America, the Black-Chinned Hummingbird takes center stage with its enchanting features. Its velvety black throat patch reflects a mesmerizing purple hue when kissed by the sun, perfectly complementing its green plumage.

A fascinating fact about these acrobats: They are skilled flycatchers, capturing insects mid-air with astonishing precision. Their adaptability to urban environments makes them a frequent delight in gardens and parks, leaving city dwellers in awe of their aerial stunts.

A Black-Chinned Hummingbird in flight

The Black-Chinned Hummingbird, with its captivating charcoal plumage, exhibits a discreet nesting behavior. Concealing their nests amidst the foliage, they skillfully blend in, aided by the iridescent black throat of the males, providing a camouflaged sanctuary for their young.

With a preference for twilight hours, the Black-Chinned Hummingbird feeds on nectar from flowers that bloom during dusk and dawn. Their foraging patterns align with the availability of nectar from specific floral species, highlighting their remarkable ability to synchronize their feeding with the changing light conditions. Their preference for dimly lit undergrowth reflects their unique ecological niche.

Efforts to conserve the Black-Chinned Hummingbird involve the protection of their habitats and the promotion of suitable floral resources in Maryland. Understanding their migratory patterns and ecological requirements aids in establishing measures to ensure their well-being during their seasonal journeys. Conserving these twilight treasures is essential to maintaining the biodiversity and ecological balance of the region.

3. Calliope Hummingbird

  • Scientific name: Selasphorus calliope
  • Life span: 3-7 years
  • Size: 2.75-3.25 in
  • Weight: 2-4 g
  • Wingspan: 3.5-4.3 in
  • Status: Least Concern
  • State status: Migratory and rare 

Amidst the mountainous landscapes of western North America, behold the Calliope Hummingbird, the tiniest bird in the United States. Males enchant with a striking magenta streak on their throats, set against their green and white undersides. Fun fact: Their name, inspired by the Greek muse Calliope, is fitting as their aerial displays and captivating songs inspire wonder and awe, truly making them jewels of the mountains.

A Calliope Hummingbird drinking nectar in flight

The Calliope Hummingbird is renowned for its nesting behavior at higher altitudes, often found in the mountainous regions of Western USA. Their diminutive nests are skillfully crafted using fine plant fibers, adorned with lichens and mosses, and suspended from conifer branches. Their choice of nesting sites showcases their adaptability to alpine environments.

With their fairy-like charm, Calliope Hummingbirds sustain themselves by sipping nectar from alpine flowers with tubular shapes that cater to their long, slender bills. Their high-energy diet is crucial to fuel their journeys, as they undertake impressive migrations across various elevations during different seasons.

The conservation of Calliope Hummingbirds revolves around safeguarding their alpine habitats, which face challenges due to climate change and human activities. Conservationists collaborate to preserve the delicate balance of these unique ecosystems and ensure a safe passage for these charismatic avian ambassadors during their migrations.

4. Rufous Hummingbird

  • Scientific name: Selasphorus rufus
  • Life span: 3-5 years
  • Size: 2.75-3.75 in
  • Weight: 2.5-4.5 g
  • Wingspan: 3.5-4.3 in
  • Status: Least Concern
  • State status: Migratory and rare

Venturing across the vast western North American territories, the Rufous Hummingbird showcases its adventurous spirit. Males don striking orange-red plumage, while females display graceful green and white hues. A fascinating fact: Their migration route, spanning over 3,000 miles from their breeding grounds to wintering destinations in Mexico and Central America, is the longest of any hummingbird species.

These daring travelers exhibit extraordinary resilience and stamina, embodying the true spirit of exploration.

Hummingbird sitting on a stick

Rufous Hummingbirds are known for their nomadic tendencies, constantly exploring new territories during their breeding season. They exhibit diverse nesting behaviors, often repurposing materials and crafting their nests in diverse locations, including shrubs, trees, and even human-made structures.

Fueling their perpetual journey requires an insatiable appetite. Rufous Hummingbirds predominantly feed on nectar, relying on a variety of flowers throughout their migratory path. Additionally, they actively consume insects, contributing to pest control and ensuring a balanced diet.

Conservation efforts for Rufous Hummingbirds involve preserving a network of habitats across their migratory range. Establishing and maintaining hummingbird-friendly gardens, providing nectar resources, and raising awareness about their migratory routes are key components of their conservation strategy.

5. Anna’s Hummingbird

  • Scientific name: Calypte anna
  • Life span: 4-6 years
  • Size: 3.9-4.3 in
  • Weight: 2-6 g
  • Wingspan: 4.7-5.9 in
  • Status: Least Concern
  • State status: Migratory and rare

Gracing the western coast of North America, Anna’s Hummingbird is a vision of beauty. Males flaunt an iridescent pink crown that shimmers with a captivating glow, while females exhibit delicate green and gray feathers. Prepare to be enchanted by their melodious courtship dives, producing unique “sonic sounds” – a delightful surprise in their coastal habitats.

Their graceful flights through gardens and parks add a touch of elegance to the seaside scenery, leaving observers in awe of their coastal dazzle.

Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbirds exhibit an affinity for evergreen habitats, often nesting in the shelter of coniferous trees. Their nests, constructed with fine plant fibers and lichens, reflect their preference for these resilient environments. They usually breed in the western parts of the USA.

In evergreen enclaves, Anna’s Hummingbirds rely on the nectar of native coniferous flowers. Their long, specialized bills enable them to access nectar from tubular blooms, ensuring a sustainable food source within their preferred habitats.

Conserving Anna’s Hummingbirds involves preserving evergreen ecosystems and promoting sustainable practices that benefit both the birds and their habitats. Understanding their specific ecological requirements is key to ensuring the survival of these elegant birds amidst the evergreen embrace of Maryland.

Where to look for Hummingbirds in Maryland

In Maryland, spotting hummingbirds can be a delightful and rewarding experience, provided you know where to look and how to attract them. These tiny wonders are drawn to areas abundant in nectar-rich flowers, making gardens, parks, and nature reserves ideal locations for observation. Here are four excellent areas to find hummingbirds in Maryland:

  • Cylburn Arboretum: Located in Baltimore, Cylburn Arboretum is a haven for hummingbirds. The diverse collection of native and ornamental flowers provides a perfect setting for attracting these charming creatures. Look for the brilliant flashes of color as hummingbirds zip through the lush gardens.
  • Assateague Island National Seashore: The coastal habitats of Assateague Island offer a unique opportunity to spot hummingbirds amidst the picturesque dunes and maritime forests. Keep an eye on the wildflowers dotting the landscape, where you might catch a glimpse of these agile aerial acrobats.
  • Patuxent Research Refuge: Situated in Laurel, the Patuxent Research Refuge is a sanctuary for wildlife, including hummingbirds. Explore the numerous trails and meadows, adorned with native flowers, where these tiny visitors frequently stop to refuel.
  • Brookside Gardens: Nestled in Wheaton, Brookside Gardens is a true gem for birdwatchers. The hummingbird-friendly floral displays, carefully curated by the horticulturists, create an irresistible lure for these vibrant flyers.

To attract hummingbirds to your own backyard, which might be the best option in Maryland, consider planting a variety of native flowering plants, such as bee balm, trumpet vine, and cardinal flower. Hang hummingbird feeders filled with a mixture of sugar water (one part sugar to four parts water) to supplement their nectar needs.


Though the selection of species is quite poor, Maryland’s hummingbird population is a testament to the state’s ecological diversity. From the vibrant coastal regions to the serene woodlands, Maryland offers a variety of habitats that attract and sustain these tiny marvels.

Observing their aerial acrobatics and iridescent plumage can be a source of immense joy and appreciation for nature’s beauty. As we cherish the presence of hummingbirds in Maryland, let us also embrace our role in preserving their habitats and providing essential resources for their survival.

Join the discussion