A friend of mine and her family live part-time in Alabama and Texas. She wanted to know what species of hummingbirds are found in Alabama. This is what has prompted me to write this particular post.
As is true in many parts of the country, the most common species of hummingbird to be found in Alabama is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. While not as common, you might also find the Rufus Hummingbird.
The next part of this post will give you some information on both the Ruby-throated Hummingbird as well as the Rufus Hummingbird and also attracting these birds to your yard.
When trying to identify a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, here is what to look for to help you do so properly. The males have metallic green backs, blackchins, metallic red throats and white underparts. The females lack the black chins and red throats.
Due to the long journey to cross the Gulf of Mexico, the Ruby-throated hummingbird must gain critical weight before attempting to cross the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, the hummingbirds will nearly double their weight (from about 3.25 grams to 6 grams) before crossing the Gulf of Mexico. The migratory journey can be 500 long and take between 18 and 22 hours to complete.
Today there is an estimated population of over 7 million Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. During the nineteenth century, this particular species of hummingbird was hunted for its beautiful plumage, but it now now enjoys protection from harvest through the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This act declares unlawful the taking, killing, or possessing of migratory birds. It is also listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna of 1975.
The male Rufus Hummingbird has brown on its back, sides, tail and head. The male will also have a reddish colored throat patch, but it will be more orange in color then that of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
If you want to attract hummingbirds to your yard, planting flowers is a great way to do so. Trumpet vines, petunias, and salvia are all examples of some plants which are known to attract hummingbirds.
If you are not into gardening, then the use of a hummingbird feeder will work just fine. To make your own homemade nectar solution, mix 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Boil the solution for about one minute to help dissolve the sugar completely. Let the mixture cool completely and then fill the feeder. It is extremely important that the feeder be kept clean and it should therefore be washed often, at least once a week or more, and the nectar solution changed regularly.
Anyone living in the state of Alabama, you do have hummingbirds found there. It is my hope that this post has told you more about the species found there, plants which are known to attract them, and a bit about using a feeder to attract hummingbirds.