At a Glance
This is the only hummingbird to nest regularly in southernmost Texas. It is our most common representative of the widespread genus Amazilia, a group of hummingbirds found all over the American tropics.
All bird guide text and rangemaps adapted from Lives of North American Birds by Kenn Kaufman© 1996, used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Forests and Woodlands, Shrublands, Savannas, and Thickets, Urban and Suburban Habitats
Florida, Southeast, Texas
Flitter, Hovering, Rapid Wingbeats
Range & Identification
Migration & Range Maps
In southern Texas, more common in summer, but some remain through the winter. A few move north along the coast in fall, to winter on upper Texas coast or in Louisiana.
4 1/2" (11 cm). A stocky hummer, mostly green (brighter on throat), with chestnut tail, red bill with black tip, pale buff belly. In Arizona see Berylline Hummingbird.
About the size of a Sparrow
Brown, Green, Orange, Tan
Narrow, Rounded, Short
Multi-pointed, Notched, Rounded, Square-tipped
Songs and Calls
Woods, thickets. In Texas found mostly in semi-open habitats, such as woodland edges or clearings, areas of brush and scattered trees. Sometimes around citrus groves. A regular resident of suburban neighborhoods, especially those with trees and extensive gardens.
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2. White. Incubation is by female only, probably 2 weeks or longer.
Female feeds the young, sticking her bill deep into their mouths and regurgitating tiny insects, perhaps mixed with nectar. May raise two broods per year.
At flowers, usually feeds while hovering, extending its bill and long tongue 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.
Mostly nectar and insects. Takes nectar from flowers, and will feed on tiny insects as well. Often visits red tubular flowers such as turk's-cap and red salvia. Will also feed on sugar-water mixtures in hummingbird feeders.
Breeding behavior is not well known. In Texas, the nesting season extends at least from April to August. Nest site is usually in large shrub or small deciduous tree, such as hackberry or Texas ebony, usually only a few feet above the ground. Nest (built by female) is a cup of plant fibers, stems, shreds of bark, spider webs, lined with plant down. The outside is camouflaged with bits of lichen, flower petals.
Numbers probably declined in the past with loss of habitat, but current population seems to be stable.
Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect the range of the Buff-bellied Hummingbird. Learn even more in our Audubon’s Survival By Degrees project.
Climate Threats Facing the Buff-bellied 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.