Bird GuideHummingbirdsBlack-chinned Hummingbird

At a Glance

Over much of the west, this species is widespread in many habitats at low elevations, often coming into suburban gardens and nesting in back yards within its range. Several other western hummingbirds may stay through the winter, at least in small numbers, but the Black-chin is almost entirely absent from the west in winter.
Low Concern
Arroyos and Canyons, Desert and Arid Habitats, Forests and Woodlands, High Mountains, Shrublands, Savannas, and Thickets, Urban and Suburban Habitats
California, Florida, Northwest, Plains, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Southwest, Texas, Western Canada
Flitter, Hovering, Rapid Wingbeats

Range & Identification

Migration & Range Maps

Strictly migratory, arriving in spring and leaving in fall. Almost all winter in Mexico. A few stray east in fall, and may winter near Gulf Coast.


3 3/4" (10 cm). Purple band below male's black chin is hard to see; more obvious is white collar below that. Female almost identical to female Ruby-throated Hummingbird; told from similar hummers in west by long bill, pale underparts, callnotes. Flips and spreads tail actively while hovering.
About the size of a Sparrow
Black, Green, Purple, White
Wing Shape
Narrow, Rounded, Short
Tail Shape
Multi-pointed, Notched, Rounded, Square-tipped

Songs and Calls

A low tup.
Call Pattern
Call Type
Buzz, Chirp/Chip, Trill


Semi-arid country, river groves, suburbs. Breeds in many kinds of semi-open habitats in the lowlands, including streamsides, towns, brushy areas, oak groves in canyons. In the southwest, avoids most open desert but may be found along dense washes or desert rivers. After breeding, may move to higher elevations in the mountains.



2. White. Incubation is by female only, 13-16 days.


Female feeds the young, sticking her bill deep into their mouths and regurgitating tiny insects, perhaps mixed with nectar. Age of young at first flight about 20-21 days. Usually 1-2 broods per year, sometimes 3.

Feeding Behavior

At flowers, usually feeds while hovering, extending its bill deep into the center of the flower. At feeders, may either hover or perch. To catch small insects, may fly out and grab them in midair, or hover to pluck them from foliage; sometimes will take insects from spider webs.


Mostly nectar and insects. Takes nectar from flowers, and will feed on tiny insects as well. Will also feed on sugar-water mixtures in hummingbird feeders.


In courtship, male performs "pendulum" display, flying back and forth in wide U-shaped arc, making whirring sounds on each dive. Also buzzes back and forth in short flights in front of perched female. Nest site is in a tree or shrub, typically 4-8 feet above the ground, sometimes lower or higher (up to 30 feet). Placed on horizontal or diagonal branch. Nest (built by female) is a compact cup of grasses, plant fibers, spider webs, lined with plant down. The outside is camouflaged with lichens, dead leaves, other debris.

Climate Vulnerability

Conservation Status

Widespread and common, numbers probably stable.

Climate Map

Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect the range of the Black-chinned Hummingbird. Learn even more in our Audubon’s Survival By Degrees project.

Climate Threats Facing the Black-chinned Hummingbird

Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too.

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