Trying to identify the hummingbird zipping around your yard?
Hummingbirds are one of the most fascinating creatures that you can find in your backyard. It really helps to know what species of hummingbirds live in Alaska.
While the list below contains all the usual hummingbirds found in Alaska, it’s possible to find a vagrant species of hummingbird that’s not native to Alaska. This is rare but not unheard of.
The 3 Amazing Hummingbirds in Alaska
Size: 3.5 – 4in (9-10cm)
Originally a native to California, the Anna’s Hummingbird is quite adaptable allowing it to expand its range northward and eastward chasing exotic flowers in urban gardens. It’s named in honor of Anna Massena, the Duchess of Rivoli and a generous patron of science. During the winter Anna’s hummingbird has been observed eating insects such as gnats and even eating sand and ashes – likely to provide essential minerals.
How to Identify
Anna’s Hummingbird is a medium-sized hummingbird with a medium sized straight black. bill. The male sports a red gorget. Unlike the Black-Chinned and Costa’s Hummingbird, Anna’s Hummingbird normally holds its tail still while hovering.
Anna’s Hummingbird Range & Migration Map
Anna’s Hummingbird is a common resident in California but has extended its range north towards the western coast of Washington and southeast to southern part of Arizona. It’s a rare winterer of western Texas.
Size: 3 – 3.5in (7.5 – 9cm)
The Costa’s Hummingbird is a desert hummingbird that has been edged out of its natural habitat by urbanization. Most commonly found in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts. It’s named in honor of Louis Costa, who was an early collector of hummingbird specimens.
How to Identify
The “Fu Manchu” gorget of adult males is pretty much impossible to miss and makes the males easy to identify. But the females are easy to confuse with Anna’s or Black-Chinned hummingbirds. Anna’s female hummingbirds have longer and larger bills and longer tails that, unlike Costa’s are rarely seen being “pumped” while in flight.
Costa’s Hummingbird Range & Migration Map
The Costa’s hummingbird breeds in scrub habitats and thrives in the Sonoran and Mojave deserts. It’s a resident in southern California and southwestern Arizona but during the breeding season can be found in northern California and east to central Arizona.
Size: 3.5 – 4in (9 – 10cm)
The Rufous Hummingbird breeds farther north than any other hummingbird in the United States. It’s an aggressive species which makes it an unwelcome guest among hummingbird feeders. This hummingbird is an important part of the Pacific Northwest ecosystem, acting as a pollinator where the insects are at a disadvantage due to their cold-bloodedness.
How to Identify
The most distinguishing feature of the Rufous Hummingbird is the male’s rufous gorget that’s hard to miss. It’s a relatively small hummingbird with a short black bill. With the rufous plumage and aggressive behaviour, you’ll have no problem identifying male Rufous Hummingbirds.
Rufous Hummingbird Range & Migration Map
The Rufous Hummingbird breeds from the southeastern tip of Alaska down to the northern most parts of California, going as far east as Montana. During the winter, it migrates down to the Gulf of Mexico states.
How to Attract Alaska Hummingbirds to Your Yard
Want to see more hummingbirds in your backyard?
We have all the information you need on our site to help you do that. First, we recommend you read our guide on how to attract hummingbirds to your yard. That’ll give you the basics of what’s required to attract hummingbirds.
Then, we’d recommend reading our buyer’s guide on choosing the best hummingbird feeder. Setting up a hummingbird feeder or two is the best way to guarantee that hummingbirds will visit your yard.
There are a bunch of other ways to attract hummingbirds such as getting a bird bath and planting native nectar-producing plants.
All State Hummingbirds
Want to see what hummingbirds species are found in other states? Here’s our complete list of hummingbirds found in each state: